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: 
3139
Office building: 
ML

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.

“The University of Iowa is a great place to attend graduate school.  The scientific community is friendly and collaborative, and the Neuroscience program works to create a supportive community among its students.  It's relatively easy to live within a short commute to the University.  Iowa City is also a lot of fun.  I live within walking distance of downtown and everything it has to offer, so I frequent the Farmer's Market, the public library, and favorite restaurants.  ”