Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
University of Toronto
Medical Sciences Building, room 4353
1 King’s College Circle
Toronto, Ontario M5S 1A8
Dr. Brian O'Dowd is a Molecular Pharmacologist and Neuroscientist and Co-Section Head of Molecular Pharmacology in the Neuroscience Department at CAMH. He is also a Professor of Pharmacology at the University of Toronto.
Areas of Research
Over the past decade, Dr. O'Dowd's laboratory has discovered many new G protein coupled receptors (GPCRs). These proteins are involved in physiological functions in brain, but only a few of the total 367 GPCRs have been the targets for drug development. They represent a substantial resource and constitute a highly relevant group of protein targets for novel drug discovery.
Dr. O'Dowd and his team have also invented an entirely novel method for the identification of drugs that activate or block these receptors. The novel strategy they employed involves the translocation of the GPCR with a specific genetic modification from the cell surface with no recycling of the protein back to the cell surface. Interaction of the modified receptor with a drug prevents the translocation away from the cell surface and is measured as receptor retained on the cell surface. This assay will speed the process by which new drugs can be recognized and pave the way for new generations of therapeutically active drugs, with potential medical and quality-of-life implications for all Canadians.
View Dr. O'Dowd's publications on PubMed.