Dare to Identify Pathways
Assistant Dean for Research
Professor of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics
Professor of Neurology, Otolaryngology
Just like our phones and computers, our bodies run on electricity. Our nerve cells conduct electrical currents sending signals to the brain describing what we are sensing. Amy Lee studies voltage-gated calcium channels, proteins in all nerve cells that conduct calcium ions in response to electrical signals, and their roles in the nervous and cardiovascular systems. Calcium channels maintain the structure and function of synapses formed between nerve cells. These synapses are like telephone receivers that communicate messages from one person to another and, when the receiver is damaged, the loss is often irretrievable. Lee is looking for ways to protect and revive synapses which could have profound implications on conditions such as deafness, blindness, epilepsy, and Alzheimer’s disease.
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