Mechanisms of Action and Regulation of Hormones and Neurotransmitters
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.
Marc G. Caron, PhD
Departments of Cell Biology and Biochemistry
Office: CARL Building, Room 487, Durham, NC, 27710
Campus mail: DUMC Box 3287 Durham, NC, 27710