NYMC Researchers Invited to Publish Chapter in Advances in Pharmacology
The Department of Pharmacology is Recognized Across the World for Pioneering Work on the GPR75 Gene
Michal Schwartzman, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Pharmacology, and Victor Garcia, Ph.D., assistant professor of pharmacology, along with medical and graduate students working in their labs at New York Medical College (NYMC), recently published a comprehensive book chapter at the invitation of the editors of Advances in Pharmacology that focuses on the latest studies surrounding 20-HETE and its receptor, GPR75. Previously, the labs of Drs. Schwartzman and Garcia, in collaboration with the Regeneron Genetics Center (RGC), discovered rare genetic mutations in the GPR75 gene associated with protection against obesity.
“The Department of Pharmacology at NYMC is recognized across the world for pioneering work on GPR75 and other topics, so it was an honor to participate and contribute to this book chapter,” said Dr. Garcia. “My laboratory is focused on the vasoactive lipid that is at the center of many pro-inflammatory mechanisms and drives the development of pathologies, such as hypertension, cancer, septic shock, atherosclerosis, myocardial infarction and cardiometabolic diseases, which includes obesity, diabetes and insulin resistance, via its receptor GPR75. Therefore, this was a great opportunity to share our work and compact decades’ worth of research into a single package that is easy for readers to follow and provides newcomers with a clear view of the field.”
In 2021, Dr. Schwartzman, Dr. Garcia and RGC scientists published a study in Science that found that individuals who have at least one inactive copy of the GPR75 gene have lower BMI and, on average, tend to weigh about 12 pounds less and face a 54 percent lower risk of obesity than those without the mutation.
“This discovery has garnered the attention of the scientific community that is now evaluating the best ways to target and disrupt the 20-HETE-GPR75 pairing. As pharmacologists, we look to develop and characterize novel compounds/drugs that may provide this level of benefit,” said Dr. Garcia.
The book chapter comprises an array of authors, including NYMC faculty and students from both the School of Medicine (SOM) and the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBMS).
“I got into the project because I was considering doing anesthesiology and writing a book chapter on pharmacology made a lot of sense. In addition, Dr. Schwartzman and Dr. Garcia are the world experts when it comes to 20-HETE, as they were in the lab to discover it, so of course I wanted to be a part of their team, and they were a pleasure to work with,” said Yonaton Kadish, SOM Class of 2024. “With the number of obese Americans rising daily, pharmacotherapy that can help flatten that curve can really lead to a healthier America.”