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Understanding melatonin receptor function: latest insights from mouse models, and their relevance to human disease.




Dr. Gianluca Tosini

April 10 at 12:20pm in the Fralin Auditorium, 102 Fralin Hall

Hosted by Dr. C. Finkielstein


Gianluca Tosini, Ph.D. Professor and Chair Department of Pharmacology, Chief Scientific Officer. Gianluca Tosini received his Laurea in Science Biologiche from Universita di Firenze (1986) and Ph.D. in Biological Sciences (1993) from the University of Bristol. He completed Post-Doctoral training at the University of Bristol (1993) and at the NSF Center for Biological Timing (1994-1998). He joined the Neuroscience Institute at Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM) in 1998 as assistant Professor in the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology. Currently, he serves as the Chair of the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology Professor and Chief Scientific Officer at MSM.  Dr. Tosini is also Adjunct Professor of Ophthalmology at Emory University School of Medicine. Dr. Tosini serves as Editor in Chief of the Journal of Pineal Research and as Associate Editor of Scientific Reports, PLoS One and Molecular Vision. He has served on several NIH study sections and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute medical fellowship review panel. Dr. Tosini has received fellowships from the Royal Society, the European Union and the Human Frontier Science Program. The main research interest in Dr. Tosini’s laboratory focuses on the regulation of circadian rhythms in mammals. Dr. Tosini has published more than hundred papers in peer review journals (including Science, Science Signaling, Plos Biology, Proceeding of the National Academy of Science and Journal of Neuroscience) has edited a book and he has authored several book chapters. Dr. Tosini has given lectures at several national and international meetings around the world (Europe, Japan, China and South America). Dr Tosini’s research has been found by grants from the NIH-National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the National Eye Institute, the NASA-National Space Biomedical Research Institute and the National Science Foundation.

Melatonin, the neuro-hormone synthesized during the night, has recently seen an unexpected extension of its functional implications toward type 2 diabetes development, visual functions, sleep disturbances, and depression. Transgenic mouse models were instrumental for the establishment of the link between melatonin and these major human diseases. Most of the actions of melatonin are mediated by two types of G protein-coupled receptors, named MT1 and MT2, which are expressed in many different organs and tissues. Understanding the pharmacology and function of mouse MT1 and MT2 receptors, including MT1 /MT2 heteromers, will be of crucial importance to evaluate the relevance of these mouse models for future therapeutic developments. My talk will critically discuss these aspects, and give some perspectives including the generation of new mouse models.

There are no suggested readings for this seminar.


This seminar will be livestreamed and recorded on the Fralin YouTube channel.