David K. Grandy, PhD

Grandy head shot

Primary Affiliation

Professor - Physiology & Pharmacology Department

Program Affiliation

Physiology & Pharmacology
Neuroscience Graduate Program
NIDA/NIAAA Training Grant Program
Program in Molecular & Cellular Biosciences
Knight Cancer Institute

Background & Education

Ph.D. 1985, Michigan State University


Grandy's Current Scopus 'h' Index = 63

My laboratory is interested in how cells communicate with each other. At the molecular level cells express an array of proteins that are organized into several signaling systems. The one we have chosen to study is composed of a receptor protein that is coupled to an effector molecule via a GTP-binding protein. The G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) constitute a large gene family that share several structural features yet are diverse with respect to the ligands they bind and the second messenger systems they modulate. Taking advantage of the sequence that is conserved between known G protein-coupled receptors, we employed two strategies that led to the cloning of 5 dopamine receptors, a novel orphan receptor homologous to the opiate receptors and an orphan biogenic amine receptor. Subsequently, in collaboration with Olivier Civelli at UC Irvine we discovered the endogenous peptide ligand for the opiate-like receptor now referred to as the orphaninFQ/nociception (OFQ/N) opiate receptor-like 1 (ORL1) receptor and demonstrated that one important function of the OFQ/N peptide is to functionally antagonize the actions of morphine in animals. We are currently using a combination of behavioral, cellular, chemical, electrophysiological and molecular approaches to explore the involvement of the dopamine and OFQ/N receptors in the development of opiate tolerance and drug dependence. We also successfully pharmacologically characterized the biogenic amine-like orphan receptor we discovered and found it is activated by low molecular weight, endogenously synthesized compounds called 'trace amines,' a related molecule - 3-idothyronamine (T1AM), a novel thyroid hormone-like compound we discovered in collaboration with Dr. Thomas Scanlan  - as well as amphetamine, methamphetamine and Ecstasy. Now referred to as trace amine-associated receptor 1 (TAAR1), understanding its role(s) in healthy individuals and those afflicted with diseases of the central nervous system (e.g. cancer, depression, drug addiction, Parkinson's Disease, and schizophrenia) and peripheral organs (e.g. cancer, cardiovascular disease, and metabolic syndrome) is a major focus of my laboratory's efforts. Our ultimate goals are to de-stigmatize drug use and mental health issues through education and community outreach and discovering TAAR1-selective compounds to help prevent relapse to drug taking, improve the symptoms of depression, Parkinson's Disease and schizophrenia, and stop the progression of currently untreatable cancers.

27th European College of Neuropsychopharmacology Congress Berlin, Germany October 2014

Methamphetamine receptor discovery

History of the Phenylethylamines

MRF Discovery Award Recipient

Grandy - Science, service and socks


Contact Information

Department of Physiology and Pharmacology
Oregon Health & Science University
3181 SW Sam Jackson Park Rd
Portland, OR  97239
Phone: (503) 494-4671
Fax: (503) 494-4352