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 like to describe Iowa City as a small town, with a big city feel. The town is great to live in for a graduate student: cost of living is low, it is a very safe city, and a ton of activities. Iowa City is perfectly located within driving distance to several bigger cities: Des Moines (2 hours), Chicago (3.5 hours), Madison (3 hours), and Minneapolis (5 hours). Whether it's the summer jazz festival, film festivals, live bands, or the farmer's market, there are cultural events year-round that give you the chance to get out and have some fun. ”