Barry B. Wolfe

Co-Director of Ph.D. Graduate Studies
Director of M.S. Graduate Studies
Professor of Pharmacology
Ph.D., Chemistry
University of California, Santa Barbara, 1973
Office:  SW-407 Med/Dent
(202) 687-1420

Dr. Wolfe is not available as a PhD thesis mentor but is available as a co-mentor or thesis committee member or a mentor for MS projects.  

Current Research:  Recent projects have focused on the metabotropic glutamate receptor 1 (mGlu1 R).  mGlu1 R are normally expressed in neurons, most highly in the cerebellum.   However, in collaboration with other researchers in our Department, we have found that the mGlu1 R is an oncogene and is ectopically expressed in many cancers.   The cancer cells, when they over-express the mGlu1 R, become dependent or 'addicted' to the stimulation via this receptor.  Recent graduate students have shown that blocking this receptor, or silencing its gene, results in dramatic decreases in the rate of growth of tumors.  Current and future experiments will focus on discovering the mechanism(s) by which this receptor stimulates cancer cell growth as well as the development of high-throughput assays to screen for drugs that negatively regulate this receptor.

Current projects:   These future projects will be carried out by Dr. Carrie Bowman Dalley, Dr. Barbara Wroblewska, and myself.   Past studies in the lab have established mGlu1 R as an oncogene.   Although the canonical signaling pathway for this receptor is via Gq stimulation of PLC causing increases in IP3 and Ca++, the signaling pathway for stimulation of cancer cell growth seems to be distinct and, instead, involves interaction of the agonist-bound mGlu1 R with beta-arrestin, internalization of the receptor causing stimulation of (unknown) enzymatic pathways.  Our future projects will identify the signaling pathways and explore novel hypotheses as to how this receptor works.  

Selected Publications:

Click here to do a Medline Search for all publications of Barry Wolfe.


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