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.

“I searched for a school that boasted a positive environment for collaboration, commitment to scientific training, and a high caliber of mentorship, all surrounded by a town I could feel at home in.  My first exposure to the University of Iowa was during a summer undergraduate research fellowship.  During that ten weeks training, I found that that the University of Iowa fulfilled all of my expectations for graduate school and much, much more.  It was that experience that I compared all of my other graduate interviews too, and needless to say, but I will anyway, I chose the University of Iowa. ”