Welcome to the Fisher lab!

The major goal of our research is to delineate the molecular/cellular biology and signaling/physiological roles of Regulator of G protein signaling (RGS) proteins. RGS proteins function as essential negative regulators of G protein-coupled receptor signaling due to their role in terminating heterotrimeric G protein signaling. Our recent studies have determined that one member of this family, RGS6, plays a critical role in numerous neuropsychiatric diseases including anxiety/depression, Parkinson’s, and alcohol seeking/dependence, as well as in cancer and heart disease. While mice lacking RGS6 survive, they exhibit remarkably diverse phenotypes owing to the central role of G protein signaling in biology and the ability of RGS6 to signal by entirely novel G protein-independent mechanisms.

We use interdisciplinary approaches to study the role of RGS6 both in neural circuits underlying alcohol use disorders and Parkinson’s disease as well as in the pathological accumulation of ROS in the heart. We use molecular biological tools to study RGS6 expression, its complex mRNA splicing, and associations with human disease. We use synergistic techniques including immunohistochemistry, mouse behavioral analyses, viral manipulation of RGS protein expression, fiber photometry, optogenetics, CRISPR-gene editing and molecular genetic/cellular approaches in our studies.

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