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Molecular Pharmacology Highlighted Trainee Author, May 2021

April 23, 2021

Riley Perszyk Riley E. Perszyk is the Molecular Pharmacology Highlighted Trainee Author for the May 2021 issue.  Dr.  Perszyk is a postdoctoral trainee at Emory University under the mentorship of Dr. Stephen Traynelis.  The Molecular Pharmacology article that earned his selection as a Highlighted Trainee Author is titled “The Negative Allosteric Modulator EU1794-4 Reduces Single-Channel Conductance and Ca2+ Permeability of GluN1/GluN2A N-Methyl-D-Aspartate Receptors” and is available at https://doi.org/10.1124/molpharm.120.000218.

Dr. Perszyk studied novel NMDA receptor allosteric modulators and their therapeutic potential in neuronal disorder.  At present, his work focuses on developing a more comprehensive understanding of ion channel function and how modulators alter their function. He recently delineated the properties of the positive NMDA receptor modulator, EU1622-14, which has the remarkable ability to reduce channel conductance and reduce the relative calcium permeability of the channel.

The article for which he was nominated as an ASPET Highlighted Trainee Author shows that these novel properties of positive modulators, to reduce channel conductance and reduce the relative calcium permeability, are also present in the EU1794 series of negative allosteric modulators. The significant finding therein is that EU1794-4 increases channel open time but diminishes conductance to produce a net negative modulation—the first example of this class of modulator. These results highlight new possibilities for NMDA receptor modulation that have not been previously appreciated. Furthermore, these findings suggest that new therapeutic strategies could be possible to mitigate pathological NMDA receptor activity in the myriad of diseases in which NMDA receptors are implicated.

When not in the lab, Riley enjoys spending his time at home with partner Molly and playing with his son Felix.  He also enjoys throwing a Frisbee, kicking a soccer ball, and exploring new parts of Atlanta by bike.

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