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Dr. GPCR Podcast

Dr. Nicola J. Smith

About Dr. Nicola J. Smith

Dr. Nicola J Smith is an expert in molecular pharmacology with a track record in exploring GPCR structure-function relationships in the context of cardiovascular disease and metabolic disorders. She is a National Heart Foundation of Australia Future Leader Fellow and runs a laboratory of 7 Ph.D. and Honours students at UNSW Sydney, where she has recently been promoted to Associate Professor. Most recently, Dr. Smith’s team has made advances in the understanding of how an orphan GPCR exerts its effects both in vitro (cell culture and ex vivo models) and in vivo (measures of physiological and pathological cardiometabolic function in unconscious and conscious mice). Together with Irina Kufareva, UCSD, her team developed a novel approach to identifying ligands for orphan GPCRs by developing a powerful new computational tool for identifying ‘surrogate’ ligands (borrowed from other receptors) for orphan GPCRs, named GPCR-CoINPocket. Her career goal is to leverage this expertise to establish a research program that takes orphan GPCRs from ‘locked’, inaccessible receptors to well-characterized and understood ‘unlocked’ therapeutic targets with high-affinity ligands.

Dr. Nicola J. Smith on the web

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