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Dr. Alexander Agoulnik’s lab uses mouse transgenic technology, various cell-based assays, and genomics tools to uncover the functions of genes in normal development and in diseases.

The lab’s research focuses on the role of relaxin family peptides and their receptors in various physiological systems. Relaxins belong to the insulin superfamily but signal through cellular membrane G protein-coupled receptors, GPCR, a preferred pharmaceutical target. Initially associated with reproductive development, relaxin peptides have distinct functions in various other organs. Relaxin anti-fibrotic, vasodilatory, anti-inflammatory, and anti-apoptotic properties have been demonstrated in different animal models of human disease.

The Agoulnik lab is involved in identifying small molecule modulators of relaxin and insulin-like 3 GPCRs and testing their potential therapeutic effects in preclinical mouse models. The research is supported by grants from the NIH, research foundations, and industry.

Alexander Agoulnik, Ph.D., is professor and interim chair of the Department of Human and Molecular Genetics. He also serves as director of the Graduate Program. His lab is housed in Academic Health Center 1 (AHC 1), rooms 327-328.