Senior Research Officer - Neuropeptide Receptor Group
Dr Martina Kocan
PhD

My research focuses on understanding G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) mediated cellular signalling, and how these complex events can translate into human physiology and pathophysiology. GPCRs are a diverse family of cell surface receptors that can affect various aspects of cell function in a controlled manner. They can form specific complexes with intracellular proteins to regulate second messenger production and other downstream signalling pathways.

As a part of the Discovery Science Division, I focus on fundamental drug discovery research to understand GPCR signalling events related to vascular, fibrotic, metabolic and psychiatric diseases. The ultimate aim is to translate this knowledge into the understanding about how to best therapeutically target GPCRs.

My main focus is on relaxin family peptide receptors (RXFPs). RXFPs are implicated in a wide range of physiological and disease states. My research focuses on determining the role of these receptors and understanding their signalling events in relevant human cell lines. I’m particularly interested in investigating novel drug discovery paradigms such as signalling bias, signal transduction and RXFP-protein interactions, following activation/inhibition of RXFPs by diverse peptides and small molecules.

I have expertise in developing and utilizing state-of-the-art methods for detecting GPCR signaling based on bioluminescence/fluorescence resonance energy transfer (BRET/FRET) technologies. These include novel BRET/FRET-based biosensors for detailed signalling detection including temporal profile of intracellular signalling as well as compartmentalization. These novel methods are revolutionising our understanding of these complex receptors.  

  • Location

    Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health
    30 Royal Parade
    Parkville
    3052
    Victoria
    Australia

PROJECTS SUPERVISED

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