G Protein-Coupled Receptor Laboratory

About us

Our laboratory specialises in the molecular pharmacology and regulation of G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) activation. In particular, we are interested in structural regions of GPCRs and how they contribute to binding kinetics, selectivity and allosteric modulation. Using this information, the laboratory has then used computational and medicinal chemistry approaches to develop new or more potent selective orthosteric or allosteric ligands. These themes have been explored using a number of GPCRs as model systems, such as the family of biogenic amines (e.g. α1- and β-adrenergic receptors), C5aR and taste receptors.  

Techniques common to the lab: heterologous cell expression systems (transient and stable cell line generation); molecular biology (cloning, site-directed mutagenesis); radioligand binding assays (saturation, competition, association and dissociation kinetics); second messenger assays (radiolabelled, BRET, FRET); protein expression (western blot, immunoprecipitation, biotinylation); cellular and subcellular localisation (immunofluorescence, immunocytochemistry and confocal microscopy); homology modelling and ligand docking.

Current projects in the lab are focused on understanding the role of the extracellular vestibule and binding kinetics in allosteric or bitopic ligand interactions at the α1- and β-adrenergic receptors. We have also teamed up with Dr Nicola J Smith to further our existing studies on the sweet taste receptor.

We offer projects to undergraduate internship students, Honours, ILP and PhD students. Please contact us for further information.

Team

Collaborators

A/Prof Luke Hunter

Dr Varun Sreenivasan

Students

Currently supervising

  • Ms Annie Chen, Hons student
  • Ms Jennifer Grant, Hons student
  • Mr Justin Moon, Hons student
  • Ms Rashmi Pillai, co-supervised PhD student
  • Mr Brendan Wilkins, co-supervised PhD student
  • Ms Kinjal Patel, co-supervised PhD student

Lab alumni:

  • Junli Chen (PhD)
  • Adrian Campbell (PhD)
  • Erica Leonar (PhD)
  • Robert Healey (PhD)
  • Kaniz Urmi (PhD)
  • Susan Ireland (PhD)
  • Sean Humphries (Honours)
  • Emily Stoddart (Honours)
  • Emilie Wilkie (Honours)
  • Timothy Nicholas (Honours)
  • Tony Ngo (Honours)
  • Matthew Wakeham (Honours)
  • Michelle Nguyen (Honours)
  • Karmen Xu (Honours)
  • Grace Yan (Honours)
  • Woo-Ju Noh (Honours)
  • Sean So (Honours)
  • Brendan Wilkins (Honours)
  • Cameron Ding-Farrington (Honours)
  • Michael Keem (Honours)
  • Samantha Miles (Honours)
  • Yea (John) Park (Honours)