Andrew N. Keller is the Molecular Pharmacology Highlighted Trainee Author for the June 2018 issue. Dr. Keller is with Drug Discovery Biology, Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Department of Pharmacology, Monash University. The Molecular Pharmacology article that earned his selection as a Highlighted Trainee Author is titled “Identification of global and ligand-specific calcium sensing receptor activation mechanisms."
Dr. Keller’s area of research is in structural biology and molecular pharmacology. His current research examines the basis of biased agonism and allostery at the human calcium sensing receptor (CaSR), which is a class C G protein-coupled receptor. His particular interest is in using structural biology approaches to understand how a receptor interacts with a ligand and how this influences receptor conformation. To do this, he uses molecular pharmacology combined with molecular modelling, X-ray crystallography and cryo-electron microscopy.
The anticipated impact of Dr. Keller’s current research is to better understand the pharmacology of the CaSR in the context of its protein structure. The calcium sensing receptor (CaSR) is an important drug target in hyperparathyroidism, and a putative target in osteoporosis and asthma. Unfortunately, CaSR drug discovery efforts have been relatively unsuccessful, which is likely a result of the limited understanding of how drugs bind the CaSR and alter its function. Dr. Keller’s work will better guide future drug discovery efforts targeting these important biological receptors.
When not in the lab, Andrew enjoys camping, bushwalking, and snorkeling.