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Professor Kevin Pfleger

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Molecular Endocrinology and Pharmacology

Professor Kevin Pfleger

Molecular Endocrinology and Pharmacology

Professor Kevin Pfleger


Professor Kevin Pfleger MA(Cambridge) PhD(Edinburgh) FBPhS is the Head of Molecular Endocrinology and Pharmacology at the Perkins, Director Biomedical Innovation at The University of Western Australia and the MTPConnect Western Australian Life Sciences Innovation Hub, and Chief Scientific Advisor of Dimerix Limited, a spin-out company from the Perkins and UWA. He is also Deputy Director of the Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre for Personalised Therapeutics Technologies, and Chair of the Accelerating Australia Executive Committee. Additionally, in late 2021, Prof Pfleger was appointed President of the Australasian Society of Clinical and Experimental Pharmacologists and Toxicologists (ASCEPT) as well as a Fellow of the British Pharmacological Society.

Professor Pfleger was awarded his MA and PhD from Cambridge and Edinburgh Universities respectively, and relocated to Western Australia in October 2002. He was a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Peter Doherty Research Fellow from 2005 to 2008, an ARC Future Fellow from 2011 to 2014 and a NHMRC RD Wright Biomedical Research Fellow (Level 2) from 2015-2018. Professor Pfleger was named Western Australian Young Scientist of the Year 2009, his work featured as one of the NHMRC 10 of the Best Research Projects 2010 and he was awarded the 2011 Australian Museum Eureka Prize for Emerging Leader in Science. In 2012, he won The Endocrine Society Early Investigators Award and the WA Young Tall Poppy Science Award, in 2014 he won the Endocrine Society of Australia’s Mid-Career Research Award and an NHMRC Research Excellence Award for the top ranked fellowship application in his category, and in 2015 he was awarded the UWA Vice Chancellor’s Mid-Career Research Award. More recently, Professor Pfleger has been honoured with the 2016 Perkins Recognition Award, 2016 Novartis Prize of the British Pharmacological Society, 2017 40under40 Intrapreneur Category winner and City of Perth Strategic Alliance Award, UWA Innovation Champion 2018, and the 2018 ASCEPT Award for outstanding contribution and leadership as Chair of the ASCEPT Scientific Advisory Committee 2017-2018. Professor Pfleger is currently a member of: the British Pharmacological Society International Advisory Group; the Life Sciences WA Committee; the WA Branch Committee of AusBiotech; and the Management Committee of the WA Health Translation Network.

Listen to Podcast, Episode #31 with Dr. Kevin Pfleger spoke with Kevin (2021) to chat about GPCRs, pharmacology, and his contributions to the field in both the academic and biotech worlds. This talk is quite a wide ranging interview about mentorship and succeeding in medical research more generally.

Professor Pfleger has developed extensive expertise in profiling receptor binding and function at the molecular and cellular levels over the last 20 years, particularly involving GPCRs. He also has globally-recognised expertise in bioluminescence resonance energy transfer (BRET) technology, including his patented Receptor-Heteromer Investigation Technology (Receptor-HIT) for studying heteromers.

Listen to Episode #31 with Dr. Kevin Pfleger here:
(Episode starts at 1 min 30 secs)

The Dimerix Story, the company mentioned in the podcast, has also been featured in the Think Perth campaign by the City of Perth:

Research overview

  • G-protein coupled receptor pharmacology.
  • Interactions between G-protein coupled receptors and arrestins.
  • Receptor heteromerization.
  • Bioluminescence resonance energy transfer (BRET).

Research projects

  • Angiotensin receptor complexes and their role in kidney, lung and cardiovascular disease.
  • Mutations of vasopressin receptor 2 resulting in kidney disorders.
  • Chemokine receptor complexes relevant to kidney and lung disorders, as well as cancer.
  • Receptor tyrosine kinase complexes relevant to cancer.
  • Orexin receptor-arrestin-ubiquitin complexes.
  • Advanced resonance energy transfer technology development.

Selected Publications

1. * Tiulpakov A, White CW, Abhayawardana RS, See HB, Chan AS, Seeber RM, Heng JI, Dedov I, Pavlos NJ, Pfleger KDG (2016) Mutations of vasopressin receptor 2 including novel L312S have differential effects on trafficking. Mol Endocrinol 30: 889-904. [NCBI PubMed Entry]

2. Gomes I, Ayoub MA, Fujita W, Jaeger WC, Pfleger KDG and Devi LA (2016) G Protein-Coupled Receptor Heteromers. Annu Rev Pharmacol Toxicol 56: 403-425. [PubMed]

3. * Stoddart LA, Johnstone EKM, Wheal AJ, Goulding J, Robers MB, Machleidt T, Wood KV, Hill SJ and Pfleger KDG (2015) Application of BRET to monitor ligand binding to GPCRs. Nat Methods 12: 661-663. [NCBI PubMed Entry]

4.* Ayoub MA, Zhang Y, Kelly RS, See HB, Johnstone EKM, McCall EA, Williams JH, Kelly DJ and Pfleger KDG (2015) Functional Interaction between Angiotensin II Receptor Type 1 and Chemokine (C-C Motif) Receptor 2 with Implications for Chronic Kidney Disease. PLoS ONE 10: e0119803. [NCBI PubMed Entry]

5. * Jaeger WC, Seeber RM, Eidne KA and Pfleger KDG (2014) Molecular determinants of orexin receptor-arrestin-ubiquitin complex formation. Br J Pharmacol 171: 364-374. [NCBI PubMed Entry]

6.* Armstrong SP, Seeber RM, Ayoub MA, Feldman BJ and Pfleger KDG (2013) Characterization of three Vasopressin Receptor 2 variants: an apparent polymorphism (V266A) and two loss-of-function mutations (R181C and M311V). PLoS ONE 8: e65885. [NCBI PubMed Entry]

7.* Ayoub MA, See HB, Seeber RM, Armstrong SP and Pfleger KDG (2013) Profiling epidermal growth factor receptor and heregulin receptor 3 heteromerization using Receptor Tyrosine Kinase Heteromer Investigation Technology. PLoS ONE 8: e64672. [ResearchGate]

8.* Mustafa S, See HB, Seeber RM, Armstrong SP, White CW, Ventura S, Ayoub MA and Pfleger KDG (2012) Identification and profiling of a novel α1A-adrenoceptor-CXC chemokine receptor 2 heteromer. J Biol Chem 287: 12952-12965. [NCBI PubMed Entry]

9.* Dalrymple MB, Jaeger WC, Eidne KA and Pfleger KDG (2011) Temporal profiling of orexin receptor-arrestin-ubiquitin complexes reveals differences between receptor subtypes. J Biol Chem 286: 16726-16733. [NCBI PubMed Entry]

10. * See HB, Seeber RM, Kocan M, Eidne KA and Pfleger KDG (2011) Application of G Protein-Coupled Receptor Heteromer Identification Technology to monitor β-arrestin recruitment to G protein-coupled receptor heteromers. Assay Drug Dev Technol 9: 21-30. [NCBI PubMed Entry]

* Listed as Corresponding Author