Marc G. Caron
James B. Duke Distinguished Professor of Cell Biology

Studies of the mechanisms of action and regulation of hormones and neurotransmitters at the cellular and molecular levels constitute the main goals our of research activities. G protein-coupled receptors (GPCR) mediate the actions of signaling molecules from unicellular organisms to man. We have used adrenergic and dopamine receptors to characterize the structure/function and regulation mechanisms of these prototypes of G protein-coupled receptors. Another approach has been to characterize the nature of neurotransmitter transporters for dopamine, serotonin and other neurotransmitters in an attempt to understand their function in normal and pathological neurotransmission. Another goal of our laboratory is to define the genes and pathways involved in the reinforcing properties of drugs of abuse using both forward and reverse genetic approaches. Our laboratory uses biochemical, molecular biology and gene targeting approaches to examine these questions.

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