Karen O'Malley, MS, PhD
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Washington University in St. Louis (WU)
My laboratory is interested in the molecular and cellular bases of neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders. For example, metabotropic glutamate receptors play important roles modulating neuronal excitability during critical processes such as development, synaptic plasticity and learning. Inhibitors of these receptors are being used in clinical trials for disorders of these processes including Fragile X Syndrome and autism spectrum disorders. Recently we found that these receptors can be expressed on the cell surface as well as nuclear membranes where they mediate increased calcium levels. Current efforts are aimed at deducing how receptors are activated, how they are targeted to intracellular membranes, and what the long-term consequences of receptor activation are.