Prof. Brian Kobilka, M.D., Stanford

Brian Kobilka
Brian Kobilka


January 18, 9.30: Keynote


Biological targets and drugs of the future: Molecular physiology meets chemistry

G protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) conduct the majority of transmembrane responses to hormones and neurotransmitters, and mediate the senses of sight, smell and taste. The represent the largest class of drug targets for the pharmaceutical industry. The b2 adrenergic receptor (b2AR), the M2 muscarinic receptor and the mu-opioid receptor are prototypical Family A GPCRs. We have obtained three-dimensional structures of these receptors in inactive and active conformations, as well as a structure of the b2AR in complex with the G protein Gs. Comparison of these structures provides insights into common mechanisms for propagation of conformational changes from the agonist binding pocket to the G protein coupling interface. Over the past several years we have collaborated with Prof. Peter Gmeiner, Prof. Brian Shoichet and Prof. Roger Sunahara to apply structure-based methods to develop more selective and effective drugs for GPCRs. I will discuss progress we have made in these efforts.

About Brian Kobilka, Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2012

Brian Kobilka, MD, is professor in the department of Molecular and Cellular Physiology at Stanford University School of Medicine. He has won the 2012 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Prof. Robert Lefkowitz for their work on G-protein-coupled receptors, or GPCRs.  In 2016 Brian Kobilka already visited FAU for a symposium held by the Research Training Group 1910. With the Research Training Group’s speaker, Prof. Dr. Gmeiner (Chair of Pharmaceutical Chemistry at FAU) he collaborated closely for many years. Together they are conducting research that aims to develop new drugs that interact with G protein-coupled receptors. Brian Kobilka was named a member of the National Academy of Sciences in 2011.