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Welcome to the Smrcka Lab

Our laboratory studies mechanisms for cellular communication via G protein coupled receptors (GPCRs).  The GPCR superfamily includes receptors for adrenaline, serotonin, acetylcholine taste molecules, smell, and even light!  They are the largest family of cell surface receptors and 30-40% of marketed drugs target GPCRs.  Our laboratory uses a wide variety of methods to study the involvement of these receptors in physiology and disease.  We provide a dynamic environment where trainees can gain experience in a wide repertoire of methods applied to important biological problems. Learn more »


September 11: Rafael Gil de Rubio’s paper “Phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate is a major source of GPCR-stimulated phosphoinositide production” was published in Science Signaling.
July 20: Wenhui Wei successfully defended her Masters Thesis in Pharmacology.
July 19: Naincy Chandan received a Graduate Student Award for Excellence in Entrepeneurship from the UM Office of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies.
July 1: Naincy Chandan was awarded the “Benedict and Diana Lucchesi Lucchesi Pre-doctoral Fellowship” in the UM Department of Pharmacology.
June 7:  Craig Nash’s paper “Compartmentalized cyclic nucleotides have opposing effects on regulation of hypertrophic phospholipase Cε signaling in cardiac myocytes” was published in the Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology.
 April 23: Adrian Campbell won the Best Postdoctoral Poster Award in the Drug Discovery and Development Division at the American Society of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET) Annual Meeting in San Diego.
April 23: Isaac Fisher won the Best Graduate Student Poster Award in the Molecular Pharmacology Division at the American Society of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET) Annual Meeting in San Diego.
April 2: Jerry Madukwe successfully defended his Ph.D. Thesis “Insights in to G Protein βγ Regulation of Phospholipase Cε”
March 29: Isaac Fisher’s poster “HDX-MS Reveals Distinct Activation States of PLCβ by G proteins” won 2nd place at the 38th Annual Pharmacological Sciences and Bio-Related Chemistry Symposium at the University of Michigan.
March 26: Jerry Madukwe’s paper “G protein βγ subunits directly interact with and activate phospholipase Cε” is in press at JBC.
March 22:  Jesi To successfully defended her Ph.D. Thesis “The Importance of G Protein Signaling in Immune Cell Function”
March 5: Rafael Gil De Rubio successfully defended his Ph.D. Thesis “The Role of PLC-Dependent Hydrolysis of Phosphatidylinositol 4-Phosphate in Signaling and Disease”
February 2: Jesi To’s paper was published in JBC: “Activated heterotrimeric G protein αi subunits inhibit Rap-dependent cell adhesion and promote cell migration” J. Biol. Chem. 2018 293: 1570