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Patricia McDonald, PhD

Associate Professor
Associate Scientific Director
Department of Molecular Therapeutics
Florida Campus
Laboratory Website
Scripps VIVO Scientific Profile
(561) 228-2222

Scripps Research Joint Appointments

Translational Research Institute
Faculty, Graduate Program

Research Focus

G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) represent the largest and most versatile family of cell surface receptors. The ubiquitous cell surface distribution and involvement of these proteins in virtually all biological processes accounts for the fact that the largest percentage of currently marketed therapeutic drugs target GPCRs. Work in our laboratory is focused on the development of biochemical and cell-based functional assays to monitor GPCR activity using both high throughput and high content technologies.  In collaboration with other disciplines such as chemistry, DMPK and in vivo pharmacology we aim to identify and develop small molecule modulators of GPCRs for the therapeutic treatment of metabolic and CNS disorders.


B.S., University of N. London, UK , 1989
Ph.D., University of Dundee, UK , 1993

Professional Experience

1993 - 1994 Postdoctoral Fellow, Glasgow University, UK
1995 - 2000 Senior Postdoctoral Fellow, Duke University
2000 - 2005 Pharmaceutical Industry

Awards & Professional Activities

Member; Society for Biomolecular Sciences

Selected References

All Publications

H Zhang, E Sturchler, J Xie, L He, D Ruiz, A Niete, PG, Griffin, J Sharma, T Jones, K Yea, P Dawson, J Zhu, PH McDonald* and RA Lerner*..* Co-corresponding author. Autocrine selection of a GLP-1R G-protein biased agonist with potent antidiabetic effects from combinatorial peptide libraries' Nature Communications, Dec 2015; 6; 8918

TR Valero, E Sturchler, MJ Afferjee, G Rento, V Magafa, P Cordopatis, PH McDonald, WJ Koch, and A Lymperopoulos. Structure-activity relationship study of angiotension II analogos in terms of barrestin-dependent signaling to aldosterone production.  Pharm Res and Perspectives, March 2016 DOI: 10. 1002/prp2.226

E Sturchler and PH McDonald. Qualitative and Quantitative Analysis of Ligand-induced GPCR Desensitization using Label-free, Impedance-based Technology: Implications in Early Drug Discovery. (in preparation), 2015

JD Robinson and PH McDonald. The Orexin 1 Receptor Modulates Kappa Opioid Receptor Function via a JNK-dependent Mechanism. Cellular Signaling, April 2015 [Epub ahead of Print], 27, I449-1456.

J Robinson, A Smith, E Sturchler, S Tabrizifard, and PH McDonald. Development of a High Throughput Screening-compatible Cell-based Functional Assay to Identify Small Molecule Probes of the Galanin 3 receptor (GalR3). ASSAYS and Drug Development Technologies, Oct; 2013; 11(8):468-77.

PH McDonald and E Sturchler. GPCRs: New Opportunities and Challenges for Drug Discovery. European Pharmaceutical Review; Drug Targets: In-depth Focus. 17 (6), 2012.

PH McDonald, WE Miller, ME Field, S Cai and RJ Lefkowitz. Identification of a Motif in the Carboxy Terminus of βArrestin2 Responsible for the Activation of JNK3. J Biol Chem. 2001; 276(30): 27770-7.

PH McDonald, CW Chow, WE Miller, SA Laporte, ME Field, FT Lin, RJ Davis and RJ Lefkowitz. βArrestin2, a novel scaffold protein for JNK3 activation Science. 2000; 290: 1574-77.

SK Shenoy, PH McDonald, TA Kohout and RJ Lefkowitz. Regulation of receptor fate by ubiquitination of activated beta 2-adrenergic receptor and beta-arrestin. Science. 2001 Nov 9; 294(5545):1307-13.