John A Wemmie, MD, PhD

john-wemmie
Psychiatry
Professor
Summary statement: 

Role of acid sensing ion channels in fear related behavior

Office phone: 
(319) 384-3173
Office number: 
1310
Office building: 
PBDB

My lab uses genetic manipulation in mice to study the effects of Acid Sensing Ion Channels (ASICs) on behavior.

Because one of these channels, ASIC1, is abundant in the amygdala complex, we tested whether it plays a role in Pavlovian fear conditioning. We found that ASIC1a knockout mice have reduced fear conditioning, whereas transgenic mice overexpressing ASIC1a have increased fear conditioning. These data suggest that ASICs may play an important role in fear, and raise the possibility that they might contribute to anxiety disorders in humans and might provide a pharmacological target for treating anxiety. Ongoing studies in my lab are exploring these possibilities.

“Iowa City is a semi - small town centralized around the University and conjoined Hospital. All of the amenities necessary are easily accessible. Iowa City holds an excellent night life and has an emphasis on local everything (coffee, food, etc..). As UIowa is a large university, there are endless activities to be had. The new rec and numerous trails satisfy your exercise and outdoor craving needs. Coming from the larger city of Pittsburgh, I would equate the cultures as both outgoing and open-minded. A more positive aspect of Iowa City over a larger city is the slower feel to the town. Graduate life can be very stressful, so the safety of the town and lack of a dense population make an already busy life easier to manage. ”