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.

“I love living in Iowa City! While it is a small town, there are plenty of cultural events going on all the time. Obviously, one of the most important aspects to me is the music scene. The music venues in Iowa City work hard to constantly bring in nationally-touring up-and-coming bands. The Blue Moose, Gabes, The Mill, and the Yacht Club have live music almost nightly, so you always have an opportunity to see a great show. The Bijou is an indie movie theater that shows awesome films for only $3. With the Writers' Workshop here, authors are frequently brought in to do readings and book talks, and the Iowa City Public Library is fantastic. The best thing about all of these is that they are cheap! Honestly, I am NEVER bored here! ”