Raymond Penn, PhD
Dr. Penn’s research interests include the following:
- Airway biology
- GPCR biology
- Asthma pharmacology
- Renal transporter biology
- Cancer biology
- Obstructive and fibrotic lung diseases
- Chronic metabolic acidosis
The major focus of Dr. Penn’s research is to identify cellular and molecular mechanisms by which G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) mediate important functions in airway cells. GPCR signaling regulates contractile function, synthesis and release of autocrine factors, and cell growth/survival in various airway cells, including airway smooth muscle (ASM), airway epithelium, lung fibroblasts, and T lymphocytes.
Aberrant GPCR signaling or exaggerated presentation of GPCR stimuli can promote ASM hypercontractility, airway remodeling, and ASM hyperplasia/hypertrophy, all of which contribute to the pathogenesis of asthma and COPD.
Moreover, GPCRs appear to mediate important mitogenic and survival signaling pathways in cells comprising the tumor microenvironment- including epithelia, fibroblasts, stem cells, and inflammatory cells- rendering them potentially important therapeutic targets in the treatment of cancer.
Finally, many GPCR genes possess mutations that alter their expression or function; we are particularly interested in characterizing such altered function and its contribution to disease state or disease therapy.
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