A Boost for Medications
Half of the prescription drugs sold in North America, target a family of proteins known as G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs). Because they are located on the surface of cells, these receptors play a crucial role in the regulation of biological processes as diverse as neurotransmission, metabolism, cell growth, immune and inflammatory responses, olfaction and vision. GPCR functioning also influences a large number of diseases. A better understanding of these receptors would make it possible to improve many existing drugs, as well as develop new, more effective medications.
Michel Bouvier, a professor at the Université de Montréal, is one of the world's leading specialists in GPCRs. His work has contributed to the development of many concepts which now form the basis of our understanding of proteins. He gained recognition for calling into question concepts which science had come to take for granted, and has opened up new fields of research. His many contacts in the biopharmaceutical industry in Montreal and around the world will facilitate technology transfers and hasten the development of new drugs. The research chair will enable professor Bouvier to study the molecular mechanisms which regulate the efficacy of drugs that act on GPCRs.