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 have been a resident of Iowa City for several years now, and while I love to travel, I always find myself eager to get back home. There are few places that offer big-city features like theatre, fine dining, and stellar educational opportunities while at the same time making you feel like a member of a close-knit community. I love that I can walk into Prairie Lights Bookstore and be greeted by name, even with Iowa City being the only UNESCO City of Literature in the U.S. (and one of only 6 in the world).”