Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

About the PNAS Member Editor
Name Lefkowitz, Robert J.
Location Duke University
Primary Field Medical Physiology and Metabolism
Secondary Field Physiology and Pharmacology
 Election Citation
Lefkowitz has elucidated the structure, function, and regulation of the beta-adrenergic receptor, the classic model for coupling between extracellular hormones and intracellular cyclic AMP. In so doing, he unraveled the molecular basis for catecholamine action. His studies provide new insights into physiologic and pathophysiologic states and new approaches to drug therapy.
 Research Interests
Dr. Lefkowitz's research interest focuses on the elucidation of the molecular and regulatory properties controlling the function of G protein coupled receptors, such as the adrenergic receptors. In addition to studying the structure of the receptors he has isolated and characterized enzymes and proteins involved in desensitization of the receptors as well as in novel signaling pathways emanating from the receptors. Two recent interests of his laboratory have been 1) understanding the molecular mechanisms of mitogenic signaling by G protein coupled receptors and 2) testing novel strategies for improving cardiac performance as, for example, in congestive heart failure, by inhibiting enzymes such as the beta-adrenergic receptor kinase which regulates beta-adrenergic receptor function in the heart.

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