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Molecular Medicine


Patricia McDonald, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Associate Scientific Director
Department of Molecular Therapeutics
Florida Campus
Laboratory Website
(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

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.

Molecular Medicine Seminar Series
Center for Physiological Proteomics
Department Contacts

CA Faculty

Asahara, Hiroshi
Balch, William E.
Boddy, Michael
Buxbaum, Joel
Catz, Sergio
Conti, Bruno
Cravatt, Benjamin
D'Lima, Darryl
DerMardirossian, Celine
Deryugina, Elena
Elias, Darlene
Encalada, Sandra
Felding, Brunhilde
Fowler, Velia
Friedlander, Martin
Gerace, Larry
Gottesfeld, Joel
Griffin, John
Hanneken, Anne
Heeb, Mary Jo
Henderson, Scott
Hoch, James
Johnson, Eric
Kanaji, Taisuke
Koziol, James
Lamia, Katja
Lazzerini Denchi, Eros
Lipton, Stuart
Loring, Jeanne F.
Loskutoff, David
Lotz, Martin
Makarenkova, Helen P.
Mc Millan, Robert
Miles, Lindsey
Milner, Richard
Modena, Brian
Mosnier, Laurent
Nicholson, Laura
Paulson, James C.
Perego, Marta
Petrascheck, Michael
Pollard, Kenneth Michael
Quigley, James P.
Reed, Steven
Roberts, Edward
Rosen, Hugh
Ruggeri, Zaverio
Russell, Paul
Saez, Enrique
Smider, Vaughn
Srinivasan, Supriya
Steinhubl, Steven
Sutcliffe, J.
Tan, Eng
Topol, Eric
Vanderklish, Peter
Vogt, Peter K.
Wiseman, Luke
Wittenberg, Curt
Wolan, Dennis W.
Wu, Peng
Wu, Xiaohua
Yang, Xiang-Lei
Yates III, John

FL Faculty

Bannister, Thomas
Bohn, Laura M.
Cameron, Michael
Duckett, Derek
Gill, Matt
Griffin, Patrick
Hansen, Scott
Joazeiro, Claudio
Kamenecka, Theodore
Kissil, Joseph
Luo, Junli
McDonald, Patricia
Miller, Courtney
Niedernhofer, Laura
Phinney, Donald G.
Robbins, Paul
Scampavia, Louis
Schimmel, Paul
Smith, Roy
Spicer, Timothy

Affiliated Faculty

Cline, Hollis
Kojetin, Douglas
Lairson, Luke
Paegel, Brian
Rumbaugh, Gavin
Shen, Ben
Solt, Laura A
Su, Andrew
Wu, Chunlei
Ye, Li

Adjunct Faculty