Trained as an M.D. and with board certification in Internal Medicine, Dr. Insel received research training at the NIH and UCSF before joining the faculty at UCSF and subsequently UCSD, where he is currently Vice-Chair and Distinguished Professor of Pharmacology and Medicine. He is also the Director of the UCSD Medical Scientist (M.D./Ph.D.) Training Program. He holds a Doc. Hon Causa from the University of Paris, is a Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science and has received other awards and honors. Dr. Insel has served as Associate/Editor of numerous scientific journals and is currently Editor of the Annual Review of Pharmacology and Toxicology and co-Head of Faculty of the Faculty of 1000Prime in Pharmacology and Drug Discovery.
Dr. Insel’s major research efforts focus on G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs)-- their expression, signaling mechanisms, regulation, effects in cells and roles in health and disease. The primary experimental systems have been cells and the application of biochemical, cell biological and molecular biological approaches with efforts not only on GPCRs but also, heterotrimeric G-proteins, G-protein-regulated effectors, compartmentation of signaling molecules in lipid raft/caveolin domains, mechanisms of cAMP-promoted apoptosis, and the use of “omics” strategies to define GPCR expression and the cAMP-regulated transcriptome and proteome.