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Dr. GPCR Podcast

Dr. Nariman Balenga

About Dr. Nariman Balenga

"I received my Master’s degree from the University of Tehran, Iran, in 2005 by studying the suitability of nanoparticles as porters of DNA vaccination against allergens in mice. Then I pursued my education in the lab of Dr. Maria Waldhoer at the Medical University of Graz, Austria, and received my Ph.D. in Molecular Medicine in 2010 after studying the orphan atypical cannabinoid receptor, GPR55 and its crosstalk with CB1R and CB2R in endothelial cells and neutrophils. I followed my interest in allergy and GPCRs by joining the lab of Dr. Kirk Druey at NIAID/NIH, where I characterized the role of RGS4 and RGS5 in airway hyperresponsiveness and lung fibrosis in acute and chronic mouse models of allergic asthma. I was fascinated by the multitude of processes that are regulated/dysregulated by GPCRs and RGS proteins in the lungs of patients with asthma. At the height of curiosity, a seemingly naïve idea at the dinner table led to a side project by which I characterized the impact of a fungal allergenic source on the function of airway smooth muscle cells. A fungal serine protease allergen with GPCR-modulating features was discovered as a new biomarker and target in patients with severe asthma. In 2015 I joined the University of Maryland School of Medicine as an Assistant Professor. I studied the function of RGS5, calcium-sensing receptor, and an orphan adhesion GPCR, GPR64/ADGRG2 in parathyroid glands of patients with hyperparathyroidism and their impact on body calcium homeostasis and bone resorption in relevant transgenic mice. In 2021, I joined the Ferring Research Institute of Ferring Pharmaceuticals in San Diego as a scientist."

Dr. Nariman Balenga on the web

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