Function of relaxin peptides and their GPCRs is the center of the research activities in Dr. Agoulnik laboratory. Using transgenic mouse models, cell biology approaches, genomics and proteomic techniques we study the effects of different hormonal stimuli in ontogenesis and function of various organs. The special emphasis of our research is the identification and characterization of small molecule modulators of relaxins’ GPCR. Currently the following projects are underway:
- "Relaxin receptor agonists for treatment of liver fibrosis”(NIDDK, 1R01DK110167, PI: AI Agoulnik). The goal of this project is to study the effects of relaxin receptor agonists as therapeutic agents in liver fibrosis. This study is a collaboration with scientists from Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine and from NCATS.
- "Small molecule agonists of insulin-like3 receptor for treatment of osteoporosis" (NIAMS, 1R01AR070093, PI: AI Agoulnik). The goal of this project is to identify small molecule agonists of Insulin-like3 hormone receptor for treatment of osteoporosis and reproductive abnormalities.
- “Antifibrotic Therapy for the Treatment of Pulmonary Hypertension” NCATS/NIH, TRND program (PI: P. Sanderson, Ph.D.; Lead Collaborator: A.I. Agoulnik). Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a rare, progressive condition affecting the heart and lungs. It is characterized by abnormally high blood pressure (hypertension) in the pulmonary artery that carries blood from the heart to the lungs. Small molecule agonists of RXFP1 have been tested as therapeutics for this disease.
- AIMSTM Prime AWARD (PI: AI Agoulnik), Atomwise Inc. The goal of the project is to use artificial intelligence approach to select the new class of small molecule modulators of relaxin receptor.
Several other projects related to therapeutic testing of small molecule compounds and novel peptide agonists of relaxin receptor in breast cancer, vascular abnormalities, fibrosis, and other diseases are underway.