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2010 Krebs Lecture

2010 Edwin G. Krebs Lectureship in Molecular Pharmacology

The Twenty-Third Annual Edwin G. Krebs Lecture in Molecular Pharmacology
Sponsored by an endowment from Sterling Winthrop, Inc.

Structural Insights into the Dynamic Process of G Protein Coupled Receptor Activation

by: Brian Kobilka, MD
Professor, Medicine and Molecular and Cellular Physiology
Stanford University

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Dr. Brian Kobilka is Professor of Medicine and Molecular & Cellular Physiology at Stanford University School of Medicine. He earned his M.D. at Yale University School of Medicine and served as an Intern at Barnes Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine. After moving to Duke University School of Medicine as a Research Fellow, he was appointed Assistant Professor of Medicine there in 1988. He moved to Stanford as Assistant Professor of Medicine and Molecular and Cellular Physiology in 1990 and he was promoted to his present position in 2000.

Dr. Kobilka is a leader in studies of the beta-adrenergic receptor signaling pathway. He cloned the gene for the beta-adrenergic receptor and determined its primary structure as a Research Fellow with Professor Robert Lefkowitz at Duke. This was a major advance for molecular pharmacology, as it gave the first view of the structure of a G protein-coupled receptor for hormones and neurotransmitters. In his own laboratory at Stanford, Dr. Kobilka has studied the cell biology of the beta-adrenergic receptor, including its biosynthesis, desensitization, and internalization, and he has analyzed the physiological and pathophysiological effects of deletion of the genes for beta-adrenergic and alpha-adrenergic receptors in mice. He made a major effort to develop novel methods to express, purify, and stabilize beta-adrenergic receptors in order to determine their structure by x-ray crystallography, and he achieved a dramatic breakthrough in these studies with determination of the three-dimensional structure of the beta-adrenergic receptor at high resolution in 2007. His structures reveal new details of ligand binding and receptor function at atomic resolution and provide a molecular template for future analysis of this crucial family of signaling proteins.

Dr. Kobilka has served as a member of the Editorial Boards of Molecular Pharmacology and the Journal of Biological Chemistry and as Associate Editor of Molecular Pharmacology. His research has been recognized with numerous awards including the John Jacob Abel Award and the Julius Axelrod Award of the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.