Haifa University professor shortens process to identify receptor function

A new computational method developed at Haifa University shortens the usually long process to identify receptors' functions.

University of Haifa. (photo credit: ZVI ROGER/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)
University of Haifa.
A new study conducted at Haifa University discovered the function of various receptors located on the membrane in the human body, which are responsible for the communication between cells.
A receptor is a protein that is usually found on the membrane of the cell. Originally, the process to identify a receptor's function could take years. However, Dr. Judith Somekh from the Department of Information Systems at Haifa University managed to significantly shorten this time period. 
“The new method successfully predicts over 90% of the metabolic functions of different receptors, some of which were previously unknown”, explains Somekh.
Many known drugs operate by activating or blocking receptors. Therefore, the new method can also shorten the process of developing drugs. 
Types of receptors include growth and metabolic receptors. Dr. Somekh chose to concentrate on metabolic receptors and growth hormone receptors. Researchers are currently familiar with some 1,000 different receptors as of today.
Haifa University had also made headlines last month, when they signed a cooperation agreement with UAE research institute not long after diplomatic relations between Israel and the UAE were established.