Henry K. Beecher Pharmacology Laboratory
GABAA Receptors and Etomidate (supported by NIH grant P01GM58448): Etomidate is a general anesthetic drug that has attractive characteristics for exploring its mechanism in detail. In the context of a Program Project Grant with collaborators Keith Miller (director) and Doug Raines at Mass General, Jon Cohen at Harvard Medical School, and Richard Olsen at UCLA, we are investigating both how and where etomidate affects its most important molecular targets GABAA receptors. In this project, we are also investigating other potent general anesthetics such as long-chain alcohols and propofol.
The GABAA Receptor Gamma Subunit and Volatile Anesthetics (supported by NIH grant R01GM866724): Volatile anesthetics, like etomidate, positively modulate GABAA receptors as well as glycine receptors. This research project emerged from a study we published in the past, and focuses on the role of the gamma subunit of GABAA receptors in volatile anesthesia.
Serotonin Type 3 Receptors and Anesthetics (supported by NIH grant P01GM58448): A major hurdle in studies of anesthetic interactions with ligand-gated ion channels is the lack of purified homogeneous membrane protein for photolabeling, binding, and biochemical studies. 5HT3A receptors represent a model where we have succeeded in producing large amounts of expressed receptor protein in cultured cells.