Functional Pharmacology and Pathophysiology of Membrane Receptors
The team, directed by Ralf Jockers, including a group led by Julie Dam, is interested in understanding the function of membrane receptors in metabolic diseases. Membrane receptors are at the interface between the extracellular and intracellular environment and are therefore crucial for cellular communication and biological response. Our objective is to understand the dysfunction of membrane receptors in metabolic diseases like obesity and diabetes and its link to Alzheimer disease. These diseases constitute major public health problems with 1.5 billion people being over-weight, more than 500 million people being obese and more than 350 million people having diabetes worldwide. There is therefore an urgent need for innovative therapeutic approaches.
We are particularly focusing our research on two membrane receptor families, the G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) family and the cytokine receptor family to which the leptin receptor belongs. Among the various GPCRs studied the group has a major expertise on the melatonin receptor sub-family.
We are employing cutting-edge biochemical, pharmacological, endocrinological and proteomic approaches to understand the function of these receptors and evaluate their therapeutic potential by developing innovative techniques such as Bioluminescence Resonance Energy Transfer (BRET), Time-Resolved Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer (TR-FRET) and enzyme complementation. These methods are complemented with the investigation of knock-out and knock-in mouse models.
We are an international team of scientists coming from coming from all over the world. Established relationships with industrial partners allow the fast translation of our research results.