46 Years of GPCR Pharmacology and Mentoring in the Field of Pain Research: A Tribute to G. W. Pasternak

Wednesday April 28, 2021

1:30 pm - 3:00 pm Central Time (CT)

View session on the EB Virtual Platform (EB registration required)


Chair :

Janet Clark
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), NIH

Kelly Standifer
University of Oklahoma College of Pharmacy

Gavril Pasternak’s 45+ years in science produced 400 papers, 14 patents and numerous well mentored students, postdoctoral fellows, residents and visiting professors. ASPET recognized Dr. Pasternak with the Julius Axelrod award in 2012 for his contributions to the discipline of pharmacology and his mentorship of pharmacologists. To honor Gavril Pasternak, this symposium will highlight advances in opioid and non-opioid receptor-mediated signaling, development of novel pain and cancer therapies, and the significance of Gavril’s body of work. The symposium will conclude with a panel discussion by former students, postdocs and fellows on careers in pharma and biotech, marketing, academia, FDA, and NIH.

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James Barrett - Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University

Mu-Opioid Pharmacology: 40 Years to the Promised Land

This presentation will endeavor to highlight contributions during each of the decades where Gav has sustained a steady and tantalizing stream of publications and scientific contributions. It will conclude with an overall summary and appreciation for his research and his personal commitment to the discipline of pharmacology and pain.

Felix Kim - Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University

Significance, Innovation, and Approach of Gavril Pasternak, Physician-scientist and Mentor

As a physician-scientist and as a mentor, Gavril (Gav) Pasternak has influenced the lives of multiple generations of patients, scientists, physicians, and students. Gav started his career by contributing to landmark discoveries in opioid pharmacology. Gav’s many scientific accomplishments must be viewed in the context of his approach to leadership and mentorship; the culture he established in his lab was inclusive, collaborative, creative, and scientifically rigorous. He encouraged different ways of thinking about and approaching problems and enjoyed pressure testing every side of an argument. This presentation will recount how I have benefited from Gav Pasternak’s mentorship throughout my career, as a postdoc in his lab and beyond.

Kelly Standifer - University of Oklahoma College of Pharmacy

Modulation of Traumatic Brain Injury and Traumatic Stress by the KOR-3/NOP Receptor System

The Pasternak lab was one of many that reported the presence of a 4th member of the opioid receptor superfamily (Gav named it KOR-3) shortly before I established my own lab. Over the years we’ve examined the function and regulation of this receptor in vitro and in vivo. This presentation will consider the contributions of the KOR-3/NOP receptor to acute and prolonged vestibular, nociceptive, behavioral and cellular changes following models of trauma (TBI and PTSD), in male and female rats.

Susruta Majumdar - St. Louis Coll of Pharmacy and Washington Univ. Schl. of Med.

Design Strategies Probing the Structural Basis of Opioid Receptor Function and Signaling

We probe the structural basis of receptor function and signaling, integrating chemical synthesis, computation based design, crystallography and cryoEM-based approaches to design next generation of opioids.

Panel Discussion with Drs. Grace Rossi, Wendy Su, Dennis Paul, Ying-Xian Pan, Geoffrey Ling, and Markham Luke.

The panel (former students, postdocs and fellows) will discuss which of Gavril’s pearls of wisdom or best practices had the most profound impact on their career development, scientific approach/impact/significance, mentoring, service and/or lives.

Last Updated: February 8, 2021
Key Dates
April 27 – 30, 2021

ASPET Annual Meeting at EB 2021

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