Nobel laureate Dr. Brian Kobilka (r) accepts the John Daly Award on Apr. 26 from Dr. Jurgen Wess, chief of the molecular signaling section in NIDDK’s Laboratory of Bioorganic Chemistry.
Photo: Ernie Branson
Dr. Brian Kobilka, 2012 Nobel laureate in chemistry and professor of molecular and cellular physiology and medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine, gave the annual John Daly Lecture on Apr. 26 to a packed Masur Auditorium. He spoke on “Structural Insights into G Protein-Coupled Receptor Activation.”
He focused on the beta-2 adrenergic receptor model system, which he called the most extensively studied of the G protein-coupled receptors. GPCRs are versatile molecular machines that regulate the majority of physiological responses to chemically diverse hormones and neurotransmitters.
Recent breakthroughs in structural studies have advanced our understanding of GPCR signaling, particularly the selectivity of ligand recognition and receptor activation of G proteins. The insights gained from this work should facilitate the development of novel classes of ligands useful for the treatment of a wide variety of human diseases.
“The complexity of the [beta2AR] system has outpaced our ability to characterize it,” noted Kobilka, “which makes it more interesting to study.”