Penn Laboratory

Raymond Penn, PhD

To learn more about Dr. Penn's background and how to contact him, see Dr. Penn's profile.

Research Interests

Dr. Penn’s research interests include the following:

  • Airway biology
  • GPCR biology
  • Asthma pharmacology
  • Renal transporter biology
  • Cancer biology
  • Asthma
  • COPD
  • 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.

Featured Link

Calcilytics for asthma relief - Science Magazine