Our mission is to identify membrane ion channels affected by G protein-coupled receptor activation, determine the mechanism of interaction, and the effect on excitability.
We use patch-clamp electrophysiology complemented with immunohistochemistry, microscopy, genetic strategies, and behavioral approaches.
Assistant Professor &
Dr. Gantz received her B.A. in Biology from Reed College in 2007. She obtained her Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the Vollum Institute at Oregon Health & Science University in 2015, under the mentorship of Dr. John Williams. Using mouse brain slice electrophysiology, she identified a novel form of spontaneous dopamine synaptic transmission mediated by G protein-coupled dopamine D2 receptor activation of GIRK channels. After obtaining her degree, she trained as a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Bruce Bean’s laboratory at Harvard Medical School. There, Dr. Gantz discovered that endocannabinoids, mobilized by Gq protein-coupled receptor activation, directly alter intrinsic excitability of dopamine neurons through lipid interactions with potassium channels. Then, Dr. Gantz joined the National Institutes of Health as a post-doctoral fellow where she identified a novel ion channel involved in regulating serotonin neuron excitability following activation of Gq protein-coupled ⍺1-adrenergic receptors.
The Gantz lab opened its doors in July 2020 in the Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics at the University of Iowa to study regulation of ion channels and neuronal excitability by GPCRs, in physiological and pathological contexts.
Affiliations at the University of Iowa:
Daniel Copeland received his B.S. in Biology from Iowa State University in 2019. He interested in the effects of sleep deprivation on neuronal signaling, and interplay between immunology and neurodegeneration.
Jacqueline (Jae) Khamma received her B.S. in Psychology at Iowa State University in 2017. She then received an M.S. in Psychology with a concentration in Behavioral Neuroscience at the University of Houston – Clear Lake in 2020. Jae is interested in how long-term stress affects serotonin signaling.