Modulating opioid receptor signaling to improve the therapeutic window presented by Laura Bohn, Ph.D. Professor and Chair Molecular Medicine, UF Scripps Biomedical Research

William and Carmela Riker Memorial Lecture

October 18, 2022
12 p.m. to 1 p.m.

Laura Bohn, Ph.D.

The Department of Chemical Physiology and Biochemistry welcomes Dr. Laura Bohn, Professor and Chair, Molecular Medicine, UF Scripps Biomedical Research, University of Florida. We are honored to have Dr. Bohn deliver the 33rd annual William and Carmela Riker Memorial Lecture.

Dr. Laura Bohn pictured with invited guests and department members
Dr. Laura Bohn pictured with Gainor Riker and Ellie Wellstead, daughters of William and Carmela Riker, and CPB department members
CPB Seminar: Dr. Laura Bohn


When drugs bind to receptors, they coordinate a series of signaling events that lead to physiological responses.  Opioid receptors are G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs); in addition to coupling to G proteins, they can be regulated by many different cellular proteins.  The interactions between receptors and their signaling partners can vary between neuronal populations and tissues throughout the body; therefore there may be an opportunity to maintain efficacy in pain pathways while avoiding other side effects associated with opioid pain management.  We are developing compounds that selectively engage certain signaling pathways over others to directly test if we can improve mu opioid receptor (MOR)- mediated pain relief while avoiding certain side effects, such as opioid overdose.  Studies will also be presented comparing these compounds to conventional opioids in studies of antinociceptive tolerance and biological adaptations that accompany prolonged administration.

William and Carmela Riker

The William and Carmela Riker Memorial Lectureship was established in 1981 and honors the memory of Dr. William K. Riker, chair of Pharmacology at OHSU for 21 years, and his wife Carmela, whose volunteer service made important contributions to enhancing patient facilities and supporting medical students.