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" (www.cnv.cl). 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,
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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Last revised, 30 April 2009