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Dr. GPCR VideoCast

Dr. Lauren M. Slosky

About Dr. Lauren M. Slosky

Lauren Slosky is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pharmacology and a member of the Medical Discovery Team on Addiction, a multidisciplinary initiative within the University of Minnesota’s Medical School to advance research and treatment in the field of drug addiction. Dr. Slosky’s research is focused on understanding how neuropeptide G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) regulate motivated behavior and how these receptors can be targeted for therapeutic benefit.

Dr. Slosky was awarded a B.S. with honors in Molecular and Cellular Biology and Psychology from The University of Arizona in 2011. She received a Ph.D. in Medical Pharmacology from The University of Arizona in 2015 and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the laboratory of Dr. Marc G. Caron at Duke University. Dr. Slosky opened her laboratory at the University of Minnesota Medical School in 2021.

While a postdoctoral fellow, Dr. Slosky characterized a new class of β-arrestin biased allosteric modulators (BAMs) for the neurotensin receptor 1. These ligands stimulate receptor β-arrestin recruitment without activating canonical G protein signaling. Critically, these ligands reduce addiction-associated behaviors in animal models without the side effects characteristic of balanced receptor activation. Because BAMs engage less well-conserved allosteric sites and exert pathway-specific effects on receptor signaling, they are exciting tools for linking distinct signaling pathways with their physiological effects and may serve as the basis for more selective therapeutics. This work was made possible by the optimization of longitudinal intravenous self-administration paradigms for genetically modified mice.

Integrating GPCR biology, behavioral pharmacology, and systems neuroscience approaches, the Slosky Lab is now working to understand how the principles of receptor allosterism and functional selectivity can be leveraged in the development of safe and effective treatments for stimulant and opioid use disorders.

Dr. Slosky’s work has been recognized through several travel and research awards, including the William James Psychology Award, the Hank Yamamura Endowed Fellowship in Pharmacology, an NIH F32 Postdoctoral Fellowship, and an NIH K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Award. In addition to research, Dr. Slosky is passionate about training the next generation of scientists and increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion in science. An advocate for trainees at all levels, she served as Service Chairperson and Interim President of the Duke University Postdoctoral Association. She is currently a faculty trainer for the University of Minnesota's MS and Ph.D. programs in Pharmacology, Graduate Program in Neuroscience, and Life Sciences Summer Undergraduate Research Program and is working to build relationships with key stakeholders through institutional and community service.

Dr. Lauren M. Slosky on the web

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