"My favorite aspect of working at Goucher College is getting to know each of my students, witnessing their academic growth, and learning of their success after graduation."
Assistant ProfessorBiological Sciences
Jay Garaycochea is an assistant professor of biological sciences at Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in psychology, Dr. Garaycochea went to the University at Buffalo’s biomedical program to learn cell physiology and molecular biology techniques studying the mammalian retina. Prior to his arrival at Goucher College, he spent two years as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Rochester studying G-protein coupled receptor, then two years at Wartburg College teaching general biology and neuroscience courses. At Goucher College, Dr. Garaycochea’s research focuses on orphan G-protein couple receptors in the class-C family though molecular techniques in immortalized mammalian cells. Dr. Garaycochea teaches a variety of classes, including Anatomy, Physiology, and Introductory Biology, and he is working towards creating a neuroscience focus within the Biological Sciences Program.
Research, Scholarship, Creative Work in Progress
Dr. Garaycochea’s lab focuses on understanding the fundamental functioning and physiology of G-protein coupled receptors (GPRs). GPRs are a major type of membrane bound protein in the body, and account for wide range of physiological and neurological functions. After the sequencing of the human genome, we discovered that there were hundreds of unidentified GPRs within our genes. The unidentified GPRs were dubbed orphan receptors, three of which are studied in the Garaycochea lab: GPR 156, GPR 158, & GPR 179. Students in the Garaycochea lab will be working with one of these three receptors, using techniques such as site-directed mutagenesis, PCR, and transfection into mammalian cells to discover potential drug targets and functions.
Garaycochea, J., & Slaughter, M. M. (2016). GABAB receptors enhance excitatory responses in isolated rat retinal ganglion cells. The Journal of physiology, 594(19), 5543–5554. doi:10.1113/JP272374
Academic or Professional Associations
National Association of Biology Teachers
Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience
Human Anatomy and Physiology Society