Dr. Stephen B. Liggett's laboratory has several major interrelated initiatives:
- The study of the molecular basis of G-protein coupled receptor structure and function
- Delineation and characterization of human genetic variants within this receptor signaling network
- Association studies of genetic variants with heart and lung disease and their response to treatment to develop a platform for genetically-based personalized medicine
- Creation of genetically modified mice to define the mechanisms of heart and lung disease and "humanized mice" to explore the effects of genetic variation of human genes
- Determination of the full genome sequences of human Rhinoviruses using high throughput next-generation sequencing technologies; analysis of the relationships between viral genomes and asthma phenotypes
- Genomic-based drug discovery, most recently identifying bitter taste receptors on airway smooth muscle and showing that they act to bronchodilate, thus being a potential new therapy for asthma and COPD
These studies have lead to new paradigms in our understanding of how this superfamily of receptors (the largest in the human genome) carry out signaling how they participate in heart failure and asthma, and how a patient or pathogen’s genetic makeups can be used to tailor drug treatment.