Home  >  Research  >  Labs  >  Genome Biology and Genetics Program  >  MOLECULAR ENDOCRINOLOGY AND PHARMACOLOGY

RESEARCH OVERVIEW

Endocrinology and Pharmacology are the study of how hormones and pharmaceuticals act in the body respectively. At the molecular and cellular level, the focus is upon the receptors in the cell membranes that bind the hormones and pharmaceuticals, transmitting or blocking specific signals into our cells. The laboratory’s work is currently focused primarily on developing better treatments for kidney disease, cardiovascular disease and cancer.

This group mainly studies the molecular function of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) and their signalling pathways, but is also starting to expand into other target classes such as receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs), because of their importance in cancer in particular (Ayoub et al., 2013; O’Brien et al., 2018), and the Receptor for Advanced Glycation End-Products (RAGE), especially because of its importance in cardiovascular disease (Pickering et al., 2019).

GPCRs are a family of over 800 different cell surface sensors in the human body. Their function is diverse and, among many more, includes the detection of light (vision) and odorants (smell), as well as the regulation of growth, metabolism, reproduction, immune responses etc. Key GPCRs also have important roles in cancer, such as the chemokine receptors (Watts et al., 2013). Not surprisingly, between a third and a half of all currently available pharmaceuticals modulate GPCR function to mitigate various diseases and conditions.

The major research focus of the group is the study of receptor complexes and their role in receptor function. Receptors interact with a variety of different proteins as well as other receptors, and it is important to understand how the resultant complexes work in terms of signalling and regulation. The aim is to use this knowledge to develop substantially improved pharmaceuticals with fewer side effects.

Professor Kevin Pfleger

Professor Kevin Pfleger

Molecular Endocrinology and Pharmacology

Read more

LATEST NEWS

Double hit of new appointments for Head of Molecular Endocrinology and Pharmacology

Perkins’ Head of Molecular Endocrinology and Pharmacology, Professor Kevin Pfleger, was appointed President of the Australasian Society of Clinical and Experimental Pharmacologists and Toxicologists (ASCEPT) earlier this month. Coincidentally, on the same day, Prof Pfleger was announced as a Fellow of the British Pharmacological Society. ASCEPT is the peak professional…

Read More

Perkins secures biobanking grants to answer important questions in future research

The McGowan Government recently announced that the Harry Perkins Institute will receive two of the 16 grants totalling more than $1.5 million to support Western Australian biobanks. Congratulations to both Professor Grant Morahan who is Head of the Perkins' Centre for Diabetes Research, and Dr Louise Winteringham who leads the…

Read More

Tiny filters with big roles for patients with chronic kidney disease

Perth bioengineers investigate critical device for dialysis machines Fast facts An estimated 1.7 million or 10% of Australian adults have Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) An estimated 1 in 5 or 18% of Indigenous adults have (CKD) 80% of people with CKD receive regular dialysis treatment to remove water and waste…

Read More

I'M LOOKING FOR

RESEARCH PROJECTS

TEAM MEMBERS

PUBLICATIONS