Ujendra Kumar


Professor, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, UBC


Full Member

Contact Info

Mailing Address
Room 6606, Pharmaceutical Sciences Building
2405 Wesbrook Mall
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z3

Research Information

Our laboratory has a highly focused program to investigate the basic and applied functions of the hormone somatostatin.

Current Projects:

Somatostatin is widely distributed in different brain regions and involved in locomotor and cognitive function. Our first project concerns understanding the role of somatostatin in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s disease. Somatostatin’s biological effect is mediated by five different receptor subtypes, namely somatostatin receptors 1-5 (SSTR1-5). These receptors are members of G-protein-coupled receptor family (GPCR). G-protein-coupled receptors constitute the largest number of cell surface proteins in the human genome and are targets for the development of new therapeutic drugs. Homo- and hetero-oligomerization of GPCRs suggest a functional interaction with enhanced pharmacological and signalling properties.

Accordingly, our second project concentrates on the molecular pharmacology and biology of somatostatin receptors and other GPCRs such as dopamine and opioid receptors, using pbFRET analysis to determine receptor dimerization and agonist-dependent desensitization and upregulation.

Our third project investigates the antiproliferative activity of somatostatin. Our studies focus on the roles of somatostatin receptor subtypes and the signaling pathways through which somatostatin receptors are involved in breast cancer and may exert an antiproliferative effect on tumor growth.