Oliver Ernst, Dr. rer. nat


University of Toronto
Medical Sciences Building, Rm. 5259
1 King's College Circle
Toronto, ON, M5S 1A8

Phone #: 416-978-3849


G Protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) mechanism, specificity and structure


Postdoctoral Fellow/Habilitation: Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany
Ph.D./Dr. rer. nat.: Albert-Ludwigs-Universität, Freiburg, Germany

Fields of Interest:

  • Cellular and Molecular Structure and Function

Research Interests

 Cell membranes are natural borders for signal transduction between cells and their environment. Different strategies to enable signals to cross the membrane barrier employ protein classes such as G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), ion channels, and transporters. Our research is directed at understanding transmembrane signaling by GPCRs. We investigate the inner workings of these proteins and their interaction with signaling proteins like G proteins and arrestins. Using different spectroscopic techniques and X-ray crystallography, we aim to get insight into the mechanism, specificity and structural basis of these interactions. A focus of our work is on rhodopsin, the photoreceptor protein in the vertebrate retina. The knowledge how GPCRs work on a molecular level will help to understand their role in health and disease.