TRP Channels and Pain: From Physiology to Atomic Structure
Speaker: David Julius, Ph.D.
Professor and Chair, Department of Physiology
University of California, Shool of Medicine
Date: May 27, 2015 - 1:00 p.m. ET
Masur Auditorium, NIH Clinical Center (Bldg 10)
Dr. Julius has exploited the power of natural products to elucidate molecular mechanisms of touch and pain sensation. It is quite appropriate for him to deliver the lecture in memory of John Daly, a noted natural products chemist and pharmacologist.
Abstract: Pungent irritants from pepper, mint, and mustard plants have served as powerful pharmacological probes for identifying molecules, cells, and circuits that contribute to somatosensation and pain. These pungent natural products elicit pain by activating members of the TRP ion channel family, highlighting roles for these proteins as detectors of noxious stimuli, and thus potential new targets for analgesic drugs. TRP channels are complex signaling machines whose biophysical and pharmacological properties are now being revealed at the atomic level, providing important new insights into their mechanisms of action and regulation.