Protein Folding

At Michigan Pharmacology we study the role of protein folding in a variety of diseases, including diabetes, neurodegeneration, and cancer, to better understand disease mechanisms and to develop more effective therapies.   We study fundamental mechanisms of stress, protein quality control, protein-protein interactions, trafficking, unfolded protein response, chaperone function, the regulation of ER free Ca, and exocytosis.  Core resources, seminars, and annual symposia facilitate collaborative projects on protein folding diseases within the Department as well as throughout the Medical School.

Learn more about the Michigan Protein Folding Diseases Initiative.


Arun Anantharam, Assistant Professor

RESEARCH FOCUS: sympathetic stress response, exocytosis, synaptic transmission, neuropeptide sorting and secretion, vesicle biogenesis, TIRF microscopy, super-resolution microscopy, electrophysiology, endocytosis.

Matthew Brody, Assistant Professor

RESEARCH FOCUS: Molecular Cardiovascular Biology

Jorge A. Iniguez-Lluhi, Associate Professor

RESEARCH FOCUS: Protein Regulation by SUMO modification - Basic Mechanisms of Transcriptional Regulation - Mechanism of Action and Pathobiology of Steroid Hormone Receptors - Clinical Glucocorticoid Resistance - Multiscale Modeling.

Yoichi Osawa, Professor

RESEARCH FOCUS: Hsp90 and Hsp70 chaperones, ubiquitination, protein quality control, nitric oxide synthases, steroid receptors, cytochrome P450.

Les Satin, Professor

RESEARCH FOCUS: Cellular and molecular basis of Type 2 diabetes; ER stress and protein folding diseases; metabolic regulation of ion channel activity; optical methods; drug discovery in diabetes; synaptic transmission and metabolic health of neurons after brain trauma, models of cell function and signaling.

Alan Smrcka, Professor

RESEARCH FOCUS: G proteins; G protein coupled-receptors; Cell Signaling Pathways; Drug Discovery; Cardiac Hypertrophy; Innate Immune Cell Regulation; Phosphatidylinositol, Calcium, and Protein kinase Signaling.

Gregory Tall, Associate Professor

RESEARCH FOCUS: Heterotrimeric G protein Signaling, G protein folding chaperones, Mechanisms of Adhesion GPCR action, Somatic G protein disease mutations, GNAQ/11-driven uveal melanoma, High throughput screening and small molecule probe discovery.

Joint/Adjunct Faculty

Mark Cohen, Professor

RESEARCH FOCUS: Development of novel drugs including naturally derived withanolides, novel HSP90 inhibitors and nanoparticle drug delivery systems for improved treatment of cancers, bone and wound healing, sepsis, and endocrine diseases.

Emily Scott, Professor

RESEARCH FOCUS: Structure/function of cytochrome P450 enzymes; drug metabolism; drug design.

Shaomeng Wang, Professor

RESEARCH FOCUS: Small-molecule drug design, synthesis, discovery, evaluation and development; new computational methods for durg design.