Developing dynamic biosensors for measuring G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) signalling pathways, for high-throughput drug screening.

Lead Research Organisation: University of Cambridge
Department Name: Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology


Highly regulated intracellular signalling underpins physiology, whereas aberrant signalling pathways are associated with many pathologies. Pharmaceutical manipulation of the cell membrane receptors that govern such pathways is instrumental to therapeutics. The largest family of these receptors are G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), for which a high proportion of drugs approved by the FDA act on (33% as of 2017). Two familiar examples of targeted GPCRs include the histamine and beta-adrenergic receptors for the treatment of allergies and hypertension, respectively. Members of the GPCR family are activated by a diverse range of endogenous agonists, spanning from peptides and small molecules to ions and even photons. They serve to transduce this whole gamut of extracellular stimuli into intracellular biochemical cascades that alter cellular physiology. To do this, agonist bound receptors activate heterotrimeric G proteins, which can have a multitude of different effectors and commonly result in target gene transcription.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/S023046/1 30/09/2019 30/03/2028
2643672 Studentship EP/S023046/1 30/09/2020 29/09/2024 Edward Harry Wills