Jeanne Nerbonne, PhD

Professor of Medicine and Developmental Biology

Research interests

The primary focus of research in this laboratory is the design and execution of experiments aimed at defining the molecular determinants and the physiological roles of the multiple, functionally diverse, types of voltage-gated ion channels expressed in the cardiovascular and nervous systems that underlie action potential generation, propagation and cell-cell communication. Additional studies are focused on defining the molecular mechanisms involved in the physiological regulation of the expression, properties and functioning of these channels and determining how these mechanisms go awry in inherited and acquired diseases of the cardiovascular and nervous systems.

Accumulating evidence suggests that native neuronal and cardiac voltage-gated ion channels function in macromolecular protein complexes, comprising pore-forming subunits and a variety of cytosolic and transmembrane accessory and regulatory proteins that influence channel expression and functioning. Although previous studies conducted in heterologous cells have shown that accessory/regulatory proteins influence channel stability, trafficking, localization and/or biophysical properties, the physiological roles of these proteins in the generation of native voltage-gated ion channels in cardiac and neuronal cells are poorly understood. To address these questions directly, we are using in vivo and in vitro molecular genetics strategies to manipulate channel subunit expression, together with electrophysiological, molecular, biochemical and immunohistochemical methods to assess the functional consequences of these manipulations directly and to define the underlying regulatory mechanisms.

Lab website

Back Row: Wei Wang, Oladapo Alabede, Denye Mickens, Tracey Hermanstyne, Joey Ransdell

Front Row: Rick Wilson, Jeanne Nerbonne, Miguel Campos

Education

1974 B.Sc., Chemistry, Framingham State College, Framingham, MA

1978 Ph.D., Organic Chemistry, Georgetown University, Washington, DC

Professional Experience

2002- present Alumni Endowed Professor, Department of Molecular Biology & Pharmacology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO

1997 – 2001 Professor, Department of Molecular Biology & Pharmacology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO

1991 – 1996 Associate Professor, Department of Molecular Biology & Pharmacology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO

1985 – 1990 Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO

Honors and Awards

2002-present Alumni endowed Professor of Molecular Biology and Pharmacology

1984-1989 American Heart Association Established Investigator Award

1981-1983 American Heart Association Postdoctoral Fellowship Award

1979-1981 National Institutes of Health Postdoctoral Fellowship Award

1979 W. W. Zorbach Memorial Prize for the Outstanding Chemistry Ph.D. Dissertation, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.

Selected publications

See a complete list of Dr. Nerbonne’s publications »