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Dr. GPCR VideoCast

Irfan Dhanidina, Dr. Kathleen Caron and Dr. Lauren Slosky

About Irfan Dhanidina

"My interest in oncology research led me to pursue a BSc in Biology & Economics from Carleton University, and an MSc in Biotechnology at McGill. However, after insightful experiences in academic, hospital, and industry labs, I decided to pursue a role in business development.

In my role at Orion Biotechnology, I work at the intersection of science and business, which includes target selection, preclinical strategy and business development. With respect to GPCRs, I'm particularly interested in peptide/small protein receptors and the mechanisms that facilitate their role in various indications. To that end, I'm grateful to be working alongside the very talented team at Orion who translate important GPCR research into novel therapies for patients. "

Irfan Dhanidina on the web


About Dr. Kathleen Caron

""Kathleen M. Caron, Ph.D. is the Frederik L. Eldridge Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Cell Biology & Physiology at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill—a large, interdisciplinary basic science department consistently ranked in the Top 5 in the Nation in NIH funding.

Dr. Caron received a BS in Biology and BA in Philosophy at Emory University and a PhD at Duke University while training with Dr. Keith Parker to elucidate the role of steroidogenesis in regulating sexual determination and adrenal and gonadal development using genetic mouse models. She pursued postdoctoral training with Nobel Laureate Dr. Oliver Smithies at UNC-CH, where she was the first to discover the essential role of adrenomedullin peptide for embryonic survival. With a special emphasis on G protein coupled receptors and receptor activity modifying proteins in vascular biology, the Caron laboratory has gained valuable insights into the genetic basis and pathophysiology of lymphatic vascular disease, preeclampsia and sex-dependent cardiovascular disease.

Dr. Caron has received numerous awards including a Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award in the Biomedical Sciences, an Established Investigator Award and an Innovator Award from the American Heart Association, a Jefferson Pilot Award in Biomedical Sciences and a UNC-CH Mentoring Award. She currently serves as Associate Editor of Physiological Reviews; the #1 ranked journal in Physiology (IF 46.5). Dr. Caron is also past Associate Editor at JCI and served as the inaugural Associate Editor at ACS-Pharmacology and Translational Science. Dr. Caron currently holds multiple scientific advisory roles in academia, industry and the National Institutes of Health.""

Dr. Kathleen Caron on the web


About Dr. Lauren 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 Slosky on the web

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