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 This week we profile a recent publication in Biotechnology and Bioengineering from
Dr. Ujendra Kumar
at the University of British Columbia.

Can you provide a brief overview of the research focus in your lab?

The Kumar laboratory studies Somatostatin receptors in neurodegenerative diseases to understand the basic molecular mechanism and signaling pathways associated with neuronal loss. The main focus of the study is to determine the effect of somatostatin on the structure, function and regulation of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and neurogenesis in experimental modesl of neurodegenerative diseases. Additionally, the second main aspect of research in the lab is to study the functional consequences of interaction between GPCRs, including Somatostatin, Dopamine, Opioid and Cannabinoid receptors.

What is the significance of the findings in your publication?

Results presented in the study delineate the protective role of somatostatin against beta-amylod induced toxicity in BBB function and integrity.

What are the next steps for this research?

Structural and functional studies of GPCRs, specifically on Somatostatin, Dopamine, Opioid and Cannabinoid receptors, are of significance in neurological diseases, cancer biology and addiction. With these observations on opioid and cannabinoid receptors, I want to focus my research on understanding the molecular mechanism in order to minimize the risk of drugs of abuse.

This research was funded by:

Research funding was provided by CIHR, NSERC, MSFHR and BC Yukon Breast cancer Foundation.

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