Davide Calebiro inaugural
Professor Davide Calebiro (right) with Professor David Adams.

Professor Davide Calebiro, Professor of Molecular Endocrinology and Wellcome Senior Research FellowInstitute of Metabolism and Systems Research, gave an outstanding inaugural lecture on hormone receptors at the Leonard Deacon Lecture Theatre, University of Birmingham, this month.

The lecture focused on how Professor Calebiro's group have pioneered the use of advanced optical methors to allow the investigation of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) in living cells with unprecented spatial-temporal resolution. GPCRs mediate the effects of several hormones and neurotransmitters and are implicated in a large number of pathological conditions, such as heart failure, diabetes and neurodegenerative disorders. 

Professor Calebiro explained how he hopes to pave the way in innovative therapeutic strategies for diseases such as heart failure or diabetes: "We succeeded for the first time in directly visualizing individual receptors as they diffuse and signal on the surface of living cells. This has unexpectedly revealed 'hot spots' on the plasma membrane, where receptors interact with their signalling partners to produce local signals that are highly coordinated in space and time. These findings are important because they might allow the development of new drugs that are more effective and have less side effects."

Guests included: Professor David Adams, Head of the College of Medical and Dental Sciences, Professor Wiebke Arlt, Director of the Institute of Metabolism and Systems Research, Professor Stephen Hill, Professor of Molecular Pharmacology at the University of Nottingham and Co-Director of the University of Birmingham and University of Nottingham Centre of Membrane Proteins and Receptors (COMPARE), Professor Luca Persani, Professor of Endocrinology at the University of Milan, and the previous Professor of Endocrinology at the University of Milan, Anna Spada. 

As well as leading this exciting and pioneering research, Professor Calebiro is also principal investigator at the Centre of Membrane and Protein Receptors (COMPARE) at the Universities of Birmingham and Nottingham and was recently awarded £1.78 million by the Wellcome Trust for research aimed at finding new therapies to treat diseases such as heart failure, diabetes and neurodegenerative disorders.