Biological pharmacology

This is the website for the ongoing graduate course (Winter 2019). We will meet every Monday at 7 p.m. in the mini link (in case you didn't notice).


As stated in the first lecture, every student is expected to either write a review paper on a mutually agreed topic, or give a presentation on a research paper in class.

I realize a review is more work than a presentation, but you will also learn more from it. However, the choice is yours. Even if you are not sure about the topic, I would appreciate if you could let me know by January 27th whether your prefer a review or a presentation. This way, I can get a better idea as to how many presentations to accommodate in the class schedule. I would prefer to have no more than two presentations on a given date; I don't want to cram too many presentations into a single meeting.


Reviews should be not too long, not too short, just right ;) I consider the JBC minireview format a good example of suitable length and scope. If unsure, feel free to come by for discussion anytime.

You may choose your own topic, but please run it by me before actually starting to work on it. You might take a look at the topics addressed by the papers suggested for presentations (listed below); several of them are foci of current resarch interest.

I hope you will make time to have a look at the papers to be presented ahead of the class, so that we can have a bit of questions and answers after each presentation.

Papers for presentations

Here are some papers that appear suitable for presentation – first come, first serve. I will add more papers to this list. As noted earlier, you may also hunt for a paper yourself, but please check with me before getting to work on it.

  1. Heblinski, Marika et al. (2019) Regulation of heterologously expressed 5-HT1B receptors coupling to potassium channels in AtT-20 cells. Br. J. Pharmacol. 176:451-465
  2. Attili, Bala et al. (2018) Preclinical evaluation of [18F]MA3, a CB2 receptor agonist radiotracer for Positron Emission Tomography. Br. J. Pharmacol. -:x-x
  3. Cao, Ying et al. (2018) Inhibition of hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated channels by β-blocker carvedilol. Br. J. Pharmacol. 175:3963-3975 This paper was presented by Natun Dasgupta on Jan. 25th
  4. Gautam, Jaya et al. (2018) 4-Hydroxynonenal-induced GPR109A (HCA2 receptor) activation elicits bipolar responses, Gαi-mediated anti-inflammatory effects and Gβγ-mediated cell death. Br. J. Pharmacol. 175:2581-2598
  5. Liu, Xuan et al. (2018) Drug resistance profiles of mutations in the RET kinase domain. Br. J. Pharmacol. 175:3504-3515
  6. Meents, Jannis E. et al. (2018) The opioid oxycodone use-dependently inhibits the cardiac sodium channel NaV 1.5. Br. J. Pharmacol. 175:3007-3020 This paper has been picked by Paola Alejandra Ortiz-Suárez and will be presented on March 4th
  7. Mouro, Francisco M. et al. (2018) Adenosine A2A receptors facilitate synaptic NMDA currents in CA1 pyramidal neurons. Br. J. Pharmacol. 175:4386-4397
  8. Zhong, Linlin et al. (2018) A novel inhibitor of inducible NOS dimerization protects against cytokine-induced rat beta cell dysfunction. Br. J. Pharmacol. 175:3470-3485
  9. Smith, Rachel N. and Gonzales, Eric B. (2014) Protons and Psalmotoxin-1 reveal nonproton ligand stimulatory sites in chicken acid-sensing ion channel: Implication for simultaneous modulation in ASICs. Channels Austin 8:49-61
  10. Melis, Miriam et al. (2013) PPARα regulates cholinergic-driven activity of midbrain dopamine neurons via a novel mechanism involving α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. J. Neurosci. 33:6203-11
  11. Diochot, S. et al. (2007) Peptides inhibitors of acid-sensing ion channels. Toxicon 49:271-84

A presentation should last approximately 15-20 minutes. It should try to focus on the key findings of the study; a good general introduction to the topic that puts the study into context for the other students is more important than going over each and every figure or method from the paper. Feel free to go over and discuss your presentation with me ahead of time.

Course notes and slides

These are all available on my website.