The function of the human body is co-ordinated, at a molecular level, by proteins called receptors that respond to a multitude of cues, factors, hormones and transmitters. The largest family of receptors in our genome are the G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), and mutations in these receptors and/or alterations in how they signal in our cells are linked to many diseases. Not surprisingly, these GPCRs are major drug targets and the focus of intense biomedical research.

Research in the Thomas Receptor Biology Lab focuses on understanding the relationship between GPCRs and the cardiovascular system in health and disease. Diseases of the heart and blood vessels remain major killers in society and a significant financial burden on the health system. Our research challenges existing notions of how these GPCRs work. We have shown these receptors transition between multiple functional states and have a unique ability to crosstalk or hijack other receptor systems to control physiology. We have also observed that receptors traditionally associated with other functions (taste and smell) are expressed in the heart and we are very interested in delineating their function. We have a number of projects available utilising state-of-the art molecular, cellular and in vivo approaches to study these receptors and to understand their activation and deactivation in cells. As part of our research, we place great significance on recruiting, training and developing young scientists at honours, PhD and postdoctoral levels.