Shane Hellyer is the Molecular Pharmacology Highlighted Trainee Author for the May 2018 issue. Dr. Hellyer is currently affiliated with Drug Discovery Biology, Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences. The Molecular Pharmacology article that earned his selection as a Highlighted Trainee Author is titled “’Selective’ Class C G protein-coupled receptor modulators are neutral or biased mGlu5 allosteric ligands” and is available online.
Dr. Hellyer’s area of research is in neuroscience, metabotropic glutamate receptors, allosteric modulation of Class C GPCRs, and biased allosteric agonism/modulation of mGlu5. His current research is focused on the effects of allosteric modulators of the metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 (mGlu5) on receptor regulatory processes in both recombinant cell lines and native neuronal cells. The aim of this research is to determine whether acute and/or chronic exposure to orthosteric and allosteric mGlu5 ligands with different pharmacological profiles can differentially affect receptor regulatory processes such as receptor phosphorylation, desensitization, and subsequent downregulation.
The anticipated impact in this research is confirming the implication of impaired mGlu5 signaling in a number of neuronal pathologies including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, autism, anxiety, depression, and a myriad of others. Allosteric modulation of mGlu5 therefore offers an attractive therapeutic mechanism through which to treat these disorders. Determining the pharmacological profiles of multiple distinct allosteric modulators on both receptor activation and receptor regulatory processes may inform the rational design process for compounds that can modulate mGlu5 in a manner that provides therapeutic efficacy, while avoiding unwanted adverse effects
When not in the lab, Shane enjoys playing social basketball, indoor rock climbing and taking part in pub trivia nights. He also plays bass guitar in an alternative rock band.