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Paul Insel

Affiliation: UCSD SOM
Professor of Pharmacology & Medicine and Director of the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP)
Phone: (858) 534-2295


Dr. Paul A. Insel was born in New York City and grew up in Dayton, Ohio and outside Washington, D.C. He attended George Washington University for two years, and then went to medical school at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where he graduated cum laude and received his M.D. in 1968. After doing his internship and residency on the Harvard Medical Service at Boston City Hospital, he entered the United States Public Health Service at the National Institutes of Health. He also worked as an Attending Physician at Baltimore City Hospitals' Endocrine Unit and at Johns Hopkins University as an Assistant in Medicine. In 1974, his career path led him to the West Coast where he began his research training in pharmacology at UCSF's Department of Medicine and Cardiovascular Research Institute. He moved south 4 years later to UCSD to help develop its School of Medicine's fledgling Division of Pharmacology. Since he began his faculty career at UCSD, he has trained 37 post-docs, 14 visiting scientists, plus graduate students, undergrads and medical students. He has been Professor of Medicine and Pharmacology at UCSD since 1987. In addition, since 1989, he has been Director of the Medical Scientist Training Program, which is a program for students who obtain both the M.D. and Ph.D. degrees. Dr. Insel was the Founding President of the National Organization of M.D.-Ph.D. Training Directors. In addition, he has served as Chair of Step 1 of the USMLE, the national licensing examination for US physicians. He is currently Editor of the leading pharmacology journal, Molecular Pharmacology and Associate Editor of The American Journal of Physiology – Cell Physiology.

Research Summary

Alpha-and beta-adrenergic and ATP-receptors, G proteins, G-protein linked effector molecules, and G-protein receptor kinases. Model systems studied include cultured lymphoma, cardiomyocytes and renal epithelial cells. Molecular biological, cell biological, and biochemical approaches to the study of mechanisms regulating receptor expression and second messengers produced by occupancy of adrenergic and ATP receptors.


References From PubMed (NCBI)


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©2008 UCSD/Burnham Molecular Pathology Graduate Program