Professor Graeme Milligan
Gardiner Professor of Biochemistry and Professor of Molecular Pharmacology
Institute of Molecular, Cell and Systems Biology
University of Glasgow
Professor Milligan studied biochemistry at University of Birmingham and following a Ph.D. in neuropharmacology at University of Nottingham then moved to the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda MD as a Fogarty International Visiting Fellow. During this period he developed a research programme on the molecular basis of opioid receptor signalling. Analysis of the molecular mechanisms of signal transduction by G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) has remained a central component of his research until the present day. He moved to Glasgow University in 1986 to a position at the interface of pharmacology and biochemistry. Currently his ‘GPCR’ research team is divided into two broad themes: The first of these studies the quaternary organisation of GPCRs into dimers and higher-order complexes and the implications of this for both function and the opportunities this might provide for novel therapeutic drug design. These studies incorporate approaches that range from basic pharmacology and homology modelling to mathematics and biophysics. The second theme of his work is focused on the validation and therapeutic translation of GPCRs that respond to circulating metabolites, including both short- and longer-chain free fatty acids, and centres currently on treatments for diabetes, obesity and inflammatory conditions of the lower gut. Herein, medicinal chemistry programmes align with novel animal models to provide unique insight. Professor Milligan holds a longstanding interest in developing novel technologies to enhance and improve early stage drug discovery and has licensed a number of such approaches to the pharmaceutical industry . He was elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1998 and awarded the ‘Ariens’ prize for pharmacology in 2006. He is a Thompson Reuter 2014 Highly Cited Researcher (http://highlycited.com) a recognition of researchers with the greatest number of ‘highly cited’ (i.e. within the top 1% of citations after mitigation in a field specific manner) papers over the period 2002-2012.
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