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Friends of Physiology - Faculty

Davies, Donald G. (Aug 2008)

McGrath, James J. (Jan 2007)

Nathan, Richard D. (Aug 2007)

Neely, Alan (Dec 2006)


Donald G. Davies, Ph.D.

(August 2008) Professor Don Davies retired from the Department in August 2008 after 35 years of service.  Dr. Davies spent many years as Course Director and instructor of Respiratory Physiology.  photo

Richard D. Nathan, Ph.D.

(August 2007) Professor Rick Nathan retired from the Department in August 2007 after 31 years of service.  Dr. Nathan served as interim chair, and instructor of Cardiac Physiology. 

Alan Neely, Ph.D.

(December 2006) Since moving to Chile in 1999, my life has been fairly hectic. Shortly after landing, the small research team I was leading was awarded a generous program project to start the "Centro de Neurociencia de Valparaiso" ( I am currently the director of the center and of the newly created Department of Neuroscience.  Together with the local Department of Physiology we house a Master and a Ph.D. in Neuroscience. 

My research still focuses on the auxiliary subunit of voltage-dependent calcium channels where we have made some interesting progress recently by joining forces with Dr. Patricia Hidalgo from the Hanover Medical School in Germany.  She is a former graduate student of Nobel Laureate Roderick McKinnon. Dr. Hidalgo has developed the technology to obtain biochemical quantities of highly purified protein.  To solve an old controversy that as been haunting me for a long time, we resorted to the use of purified calcium channel b-subunit. We first showed that the purified b-subunit can modulate function of channel already present in the plasma membrane (Neely et al, 2004) and then that this subunit binds reversibly to the channel-forming subunit (Hidalgo et al, 2006).  Thank to Dr. Hidalgo insight, we recently discovered that the b-subunit promotes endocytosis when not bound to the channel by interacting with Dynamin (Gonzalez-Gutierrez - et al, 2006).

We have also being working on a strange potassium channel found in the model worm c. elegans. This potassium channel inactivate faster than it activate and as a consequence it only carries current during hyperpolarization (Fleischhauer et al, 2000).

  • Gonzalez-Gutierrez G, Miranda-Laferte E, Neely A, Hidalgo P (2006). The SRC homology 3 domain of the b-subunit of voltage gated calcium channels promotes endocytosis via dynamin interaction J Biol Chem. 2006 Nov 16; (Epub).
  • Hidalgo P, Gonzalez-Gutierrez G, Garcia-Olivares J, Neely A. (2006). The a1-b subunit interaction that modulates calcium channel activity is reversible and requires a competent alpha-interaction domain. J Biol Chem. 34:24104-10.
  • Neely,A., J.Garcia-Olivares, S.Voswinkel, H.Horstkott, and P.Hidalgo (2004). Folding of active calcium channel beta(1b)-subunit by size-exclusion chromatography and its role on channel function. J.Biol. Chem. 279:21689-21694.
  • Dzhura I, Neely A. (2003) Differential modulation of cardiac Ca2+ channel gating by b-subunits. Biophys J. 85:274-89.
  • Fleischhauer,R., M.W.Davis, I.Dzhura, A.Neely, L.Avery, and R.H.Joho. 2000. Ultrafast inactivation causes inward rectification in a voltage-gated K+ channel from Caenorhabditis elegans. J. Neurosci. 20:511-520.

James J. McGrath, Ph.D.

(January 2007) Professor Emeritus Jim McGrath sent the following update.
In between trips we go to school a lot.  Both Duke and UNC have programs.  We studied the work of George Bernard Shaw and were so taken by it we went to the Shaw Festival in Niagara on the Lake in Canada to see a play; it was great.  We've studied Irish Literature, The Iliad, Suicide in Cuba, Arthur Miller, Memoir Writing  and it has all been wonderful.

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