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Blizard Institute - Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry

Blizard Institute Research Seminar: Professor Graeme Milligan

When: Thursday, January 19, 2023, 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Where: Perrin Lecture Theatre, Whitechapel

Speaker: Prof. Graeme Milligan

Prof. Graeme Milligan, Professor of Molecular Pharmacology at the School of Molecular Biosciences, University of Glasgow, will present “Can we drug receptors for microbially-produced and other metabolic hormones?".

A Teams invite will be sent shortly to all staff so that you can save the date in your diary. This is an in-person event, but a recording will be circulated afterwards.

We encourage everyone to attend this seminar and look forward to seeing you there.


G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) have been a major group of druggable cell surface receptors and therapeutics targeting many hormone-activated GPCRs have been developed. A number of products of the processing and metabolism of foodstuffs act in a hormone-like manner and these include both short and medium chain length free fatty acids. Short chain fatty acids produced in large amounts by the intestinal microbiota act on the receptors FFA2 and FFA3, whilst medium chain fatty acids activate the receptor GPR84. Various studies have suggested that activation or blockade of these receptors may be therapeutically attractive ways to treat various inflammatory conditions, as well as diseases ranging from diabetes to cancers. One challenge in assessing such questions in rodent models is that many identified ligands that target these receptors, although with high affinity at the human receptor have little or no effect at the rodent orthologues. I will discuss ways in which we have defined the molecular basis for such differences and then developed transgenic mouse models expressing modified forms of FFA2 and GPR84 to explore if these are worthy targets for therapeutic development.


Professor Graeme Milligan is Gardiner Professor of Biochemistry, former Dean of Research and current Deputy Head of the College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences at the University of Glasgow. His main research group centres on the function, structure, and regulation of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) and their interacting proteins. His experience also includes translating knowledge generated into selection of targets, screening, and identification of small molecule regulators of these proteins and progressing such ligands in drug development programmes.

Prof. Milligan has published more than 550 peer-reviewed articles and his research has been cited more than 35,000 times. He was elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1998 and to the Fellowship of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2016.

Prof. Milligan is the co-founder of both Caldan Therapeutics (2015) which discovers novel therapeutics for metabolic diseases including Type 2 Diabetes and other indications including non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and inflammatory diseases and of Keltic Pharma Therapeutics (2020) which is developing new treatments for malaria.
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Professor William Alazawi MA(Cantab) MB BChir PhD FRCP
Professor of Hepatology
Director of Research


Carlos De Oliveira
Institute Research Manager

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