Accelerating Breakthrough Discoveries into Medicines

Feroz R. Papa, MD, PhD

Feroz R. Papa, MD, PhD

Feroz R. Papa, MD, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF), CA.

Dr. Papa’s laboratory uses molecular, cellular and organism approaches to address broad questions revolving around protein misfolding and disease. He is focusing on protein misfolding in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) to quantify and predict levels of ER stress that promote the death of pancreatic islet beta cells and determine the role of the unfolded protein response (UPR) in the cell death process.

To this end, his lab is pioneering new single-cell stress measurement and adjustment devices to determine how dangerous ER stress is for the beta cell, how much protection the UPR affords and at what thresholds UPR outputs become destructive rather than adaptive. Ultimately, this work will uncover how cells enter into the terminal UPR, leading to cell degenerative diseases including diabetes and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. His lab has identified the ER kinase/endoribonuclease IRE1 as a drug target for disease modification in cell degenerative diseases and is advancing novel small molecule kinase inhibitors against IRE1 for development into therapies for protein misfolding diseases.

Dr. Papa completed his medical and graduate school training in biochemistry at the University of Chicago, followed by post-graduate clinical training in internal medicine and endocrinology and a postdoctoral fellowship at UCSF.

Dr. Papa is a member of the UCSF Diabetes Center and the California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences. He is a recipient of the National Institutes of Health Director’s New Innovator Award.

Harrington Project

The Harrington Discovery Institute is the nonprofit arm of the Harrington Project for Discovery & Development, an international initiative supporting breakthrough research by physician-scientists. The Project is a new and powerful approach to address some of the challenges hindering advancement of medicine today.

The Harrington Grant is an important part of the overall pharmaceutical research initiative created by The Harrington Project.