Support for our endeavors
comes primarily from the
National Institutes of Health


Ken Blumer, PhD


Professor, Cell Biology and Physiology

Molecular Cell Biology Program
Biochemistry Program
Neurosciences Program

Signal transduction by G protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) in the cardiovascular, nervous and visual systems is the focus of our research. GPCRs are the largest and most important class of receptors in humans because they are the targets of more than half of all therapeutic agents, as well as many drugs of abuse. Our research focuses on RGS proteins, a large family we discovered that function as novel regulators, effectors and integrators in GPCR signaling pathways. Indeed, RGS proteins have important roles in hypertension, heart failure, anxiety, schizophrenia, vision and drug addiction. Accordingly, RGS proteins provide a promising new class of drug targets. Currently our goals are to elucidate the mechanistic and physiological functions of RGS proteins in the cardiovascular, nervous and visual systems through biochemical, cell biological, genetic and physiologic studies of knockout and transgenic mice. We are working to: 1) determine the mechanisms whereby RGS proteins participate in hypertension and heart failure; and 2) elucidate signaling functions of the RGS7 family in the visual and nervous systems. Both projects employ a multidisciplinary approach that includes biophysics (FRET, FLIM, FRAP), biochemistry, molecular biology, real-time imaging of signaling molecules, pharmacology, and mouse physiology. New students will have the opportunity to build on current projects or to develop novel research projects.

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The Vision Research Community at Washington University in St. Louis
Washington University School of Medicine
660 S.Euclid Ave., St. Louis, Missouri 63110
Campus Box 8096, McMillian Building, St. Louis, Missouri 63110