Michael T. Klein

Michael T. Klein

My primary area of research revolves around the serotonin 5-HT1E receptor. This receptor is highly expressed in the human brain, with the highest expression levels known to be in the hippocampus, frontal cortex, and the neurovasculature. Its physiological role is largely unknown, but it likely plays significant roles in serotonin's actions in the CNS and the actions of various serotonergic drugs. Given its high expression levels in the hippocampus, particularly in the dentate gyrus, and its neuroprotective effects when expressed in cultured human neurons, the 5-HT1E receptor is thought to be involved in memory and is a promising druggable candidate for therapies aimed at correcting memory deficits, like that of Alzheimer’s Disease. I have contributed significantly to the literature investigating the pharmacology of this receptor and its distribution in the mammalian brain. In my current work, I aim to elucidate the molecular properties of this receptor: with a better understanding of the 5-HT1E receptor's signal transduction mechanisms, protein interactions, dimerization state(s), and trafficking to and from the plasma membrane, we can better address this receptor’s role in the body and its potential as a therapeutic drug target.

More broadly, I am interested in introducing undergraduates to interdisciplinary research approaches and modern scientific research environments. My experience in drug discovery and development provides insights into these areas and a distinct awareness that basic biology research and biomedical research are becoming more reliant on the fields of physics, engineering, and computer science.

  • Ph.D. Neuropharmacology & Neuroscience, Albany Medical College, 2012