Jeanne Nerbonne, PhD

Alumni Endowed Professor of Molecular Biology and Pharmacology, WashU Medicine

Mechanisms contributing to the physiological regulation and the pathophysiological remodeling of membrane excitability in the cardiovascular and nervous systems

Research in this laboratory is focused on identifying of the molecular mechanisms controlling the normal expression, properties and functioning and the pathophysiological remodeling of voltage-gated K+ (Kv) and Na+ (Nav) channels in cardiac and neuronal cells. Myocardial Nav and Kv channels control the waveforms of action potentials, conduction and the normal propagation of electrical activity through the heart. In addition to shaping the waveforms of individual action potentials, neuronal Nav and Kv channels contribute to determining repetitive firing rates and patterns. The Nav and Kv channels are also important targets for the actions of neurotransmitters and neurohormones. Investigators in this lab combine electrophysiological approaches with in vitro and in vivo molecular genetic techniques to characterize the properties and physiological roles of the Kv and Nav channels expressed in cardiac and neuronal cells and to identify the molecular determinants of these channels. Additional studies are focused on defining the mechanisms contributing to the physiological regulation of cardiac and neuronal voltage-gated channels and to the dysregulation of these channels associated with inherited and acquired disease.

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