Feroz Papa, M.D., Ph.D. - Investigator Profile
Feroz R. Papa, M.D., Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of California-San Francisco (UCSF). Dr. Papa completed his medical and graduate school training in biochemistry at the University of Chicago, then did post-graduate clinical training in internal medicine and endocrinology at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Following this, he did a four-year postdoctoral fellowship at UCSF studying the activation mechanism of the endoplasmic reticulum stress sensor IRE1, the master regulator of the unfolded protein response (UPR). During this period he made the discovery that the endoribonuclease (RNase) domain of yeast IRE1 can be allosterically controlled using kinase inhibitors and the kinase catalytic activity completely bypassed in this multi-domain kinase. Dr. Papa joined the faculty of UCSF in 2005, with his lab based at the Mission Bay campus in the multi-disciplinary California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences (QB3). His laboratory has made key fundamental discoveries showing that: (1) mammalian IRE1 controls entry into cell death by endonucleolytically degrading mRNAs localizing to the ER membrane, in what he has labeled a ‘Terminal UPR’, (2) linked ER stress signaling to sterile inflammation and diabetes, and (3) developed small molecule screens, obtained hits, and are advancing lead small molecule kinase inhibitory compounds that can extract either adaptive or destructive outputs from the adjoining RNAse domain of human IRE1. His ultimate goal is to understand the molecular componentry of how cells enter into the terminal UPR, leading to cell degenerative diseases such as diabetes, and to modify these disease states by developing novel therapeutics to treat human patients. Dr. Papa is the recipient of several national awards and grants, from both federal sources—including the National Institutes of Health Director’s New Innovator Award—and private foundations, including a Career Award in Biomedical Sciences from the Burroughs Wellcome Foundation, and an Innovative Award from JDRF, and has been inducted into the American Society of Clinical Investigators.
apoptosis, stress signaling, endoplasmic reticulum, beta cells, insulin