K. Christopher Garcia, Ph.D.

Title
Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Department
Department of Molecular and Cellular Physiology
Institution
Stanford University
Address
Beckman B171B
279 Campus Drive
City, State, Zip
Stanford, CA 94305-5345
Phone
(650) 498-7332
E-mail
kcgarcia[at]stanford.edu
Website
http://garcia-lab.stanford.edu/
Research Field
Structural Biology
Award Year
2001

Research

Cell surface receptors represent the gateway through which the cell senses and responds to its environment. Most physiologically important processes are initiated by the interaction of cell-surface receptors with extracellular mediators. This recognition event is communicated across the membrane, resulting in activation of intracellular signal transduction cascades. Molecular insight into recognition and activation of receptors implicated in human disease could reveal new strategies, or better inform current strategies, for therapeutic intervention.Thematically, we are interested in shared receptors that appear to differentially respond to multiple ligands, and protein-protein interaction systems that play central roles in Immunology and Neurobiology, as well as well as receptors and proteins involved in host-pathogen interactions, cellular development and differentiation. In addition to understanding basic aspects of receptor signaling and structural biology, we are also interested in the discovery of novel receptor ligands using combinatorial biology, and deorphanization, of new ligand-receptor systems using genomics and proteomics.We approach our studies using a range of methodologies including protein biochemistry, protein engineering, combinatorial biology, X-ray crystallography, proteomics, cell biology, NMR and electron microscopy. We study both soluble proteins and integral membrane proteins