Raymond PennDepartment of Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA F1000 Faculty Member (since 26 March 2012)
Professor, Department of Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD
1980 BA, History University of Pennsylvania
1980 MS Ed, Education University of Pennsylvania
1988 PhD, Physiology Temple University School of Medicine
The major focus of Dr Penns research is to identify cellular and molecular mechanisms by which G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) mediate important functions in airway cells. GPCR signaling regulates contractile function, synthesis and release of autocrine factors, and cell growth in various airway cells, including airway smooth muscle (ASM), airway epithelium, lung fibroblasts, and T lymphocytes. Aberrant GPCR signaling or exaggerated presentation of GPCR stimuli can promote ASM hypercontractility, airway remodeling, and ASM hyperplasia/hypertrophy, all of which contribute to the pathogenesis of asthma. Moreover, many GPCR genes possess mutations that alter their expression or function; and whether such genetic variation translates into altered receptor and affects disease state or disease therapy is unknown. By understanding the function of GPCRs in the airway, and the mechanisms by which GPCR signaling and function are regulated, new therapeutic strategies can be envisioned that improve GPCR ligand-based therapies by: 1) relieving or avoiding receptor desensitization (presumed to underlie the loss of beta-agonist efficacy in asthma); 2) finding alternative means to activate signaling pathways that mediate therapeutic effects; and 3) developing new ligands that preferentially activate beneficial signaling while not activating potentially deleterious signaling (biased agonism).
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