Damon Runyon Researchers

Meet Our Scientists
John C. Janetzko, PhD

Dr. Janetzko studies G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), a class of membrane-embedded proteins that relay signals about hormone and neurotransmitter binding to the inside of the cell. Several types of cancer cells hijack these proteins by keeping them in an active state (constitutively turned “on”) in order to promote their growth and allow them to metastasize. The activated GPCR often becomes a target for another set of proteins, called GRKs (GPCR kinases). GRKs chemically modify active receptors, which changes the type of signals the GPCR sends and simultaneously marks them to be turned off. His research will use structural and biophysical methods to understand how activated GPCRs are recognized by GRKs, and how these kinases might be exploited as new therapeutic targets in cancer.

Project title: "A biophysical approach to studying GRK-GPCR complexes"
Institution: Stanford University
Award Program: Fellow
Sponsor(s) / Mentor(s): Brian K. Kobilka, MD
Cancer Type: All Cancers
Research Area: Biophysics