Hormones and Neurotransmitters

Mechanisms of Action and Regulation of Hormones and Neurotransmitters

Overview

This laboratory seeks to understand in molecular terms the mechanisms of action and regulation of hormones and neurotransmitters and exposes trainees to a wide variety of approaches to address hypotheses related to these mechanisms.

Investigations are being pursued in two major areas of research:

Molecular mechanisms of signal transduction and regulation

Dopamine and adrenergic receptors that mediate the physiological effects of catecholamines, and are members of the large family of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), are being used as model systems to elucidate:

  • The molecular mechanisms of signal transduction
  • The molecular mechanisms involved in the regulation of the responsiveness of these systems using the paradigm of agonist-mediated desensitization

Molecular determinants of neurotransmission

Studies on the structure, function, and biological role of neurotransmitter transporters — a family of complex membrane proteins that are targets for drugs such as antidepressants and psychostimulants — provide the angle for examining the molecular determinants of neurotransmission. 

Trainees are exposed to a wide variety of approaches to address hypotheses related to mechanisms of GPCR and neurotransmitter signaling, including:

  • Molecular biology
  • Cell biology
  • Gene targeting 

Trainees will participate in detailed discussions and analyses of their data and critical review of the scientific knowledge with the principal investigator and the other investigators in the laboratory. The overall goal is to provide an environment where trainees can develop independence and become outstanding physician-scientists.

Faculty

Marc G. Caron, PhD
Departments of Cell Biology and Biochemistry

Contact Information

Office: CARL Building, Room 487, Durham, NC, 27710 
Campus mail: DUMC Box 3287 Durham, NC, 27710
Phone: 919-684-5433
Fax: 919-681-8641