I have worked in biology and biochemistry labs at various institutions including The George Washington University Medical School, American University, and St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Boston. The vast majority of my lab research has been with the Costanzi Research Group and centered on homology models of G protein-coupled receptors and their applicability to computer-aided drug discovery.

 

What are G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRS)?

G-protein coupled receptors are a large family of seven transmembrane domain receptors that play an important role in signal transduction pathways. For this reason, they are a common target for a vast amount of pharmaceutical drugs.

 

What are homology models and why do we need them?

Homology models are three-dimensional virtual models of the protein of interest, which are built using homologous structures. This is an important technique because it allows for research on a 3-D model of a GPCR research when studying GPCRs in which the actual structure is unknown.

 

What is molecular Docking-based virtual Screening?

Molecular Docking is a technique that places ligands into the binding cavity of a receptor to analyze the receptor-ligand binding interaction. Virtual screening is the screening of a large amount of compounds to analyze their likelihood of binding to the receptor.

 

Click Here to visit the Constanzi Research Group website and for more information on their research regarding homology models of GPCRs.