Roger D. Cone
University of Michigan
Cone cloned and characterized the thyroid stimulating hormone receptor and the five melanocortin receptors, identifying the first endogenous antagonist of a G protein-coupled receptor. The MSH receptor genetic variants he discovered explain much of the coat color variation in domesticated animals, as well as red hair in humans. His studies identified the key role of the central melanocortin system in the regulation of adiposity, and numerous physiological functions including fasting insulin levels, satiety, diet-induced thermogenesis, and disease cachexia. Cone is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine.