ABOUT US
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.
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OUR MEMBERS

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Stephanie Gantz

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Assistant Professor &

Principal Investigator

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Aleigha Gugel

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Research Intern

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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. 

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Aleigha Gugel received her B.S. in Neuroscience from the University of Iowa in 2020. She is interested in the role noradrenaline plays in the brain, specifically focusing on its impact on ADHD.

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Nora O'Prey

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Undergraduate Research Assistant

Nora O’Prey is an undergraduate student at Grinnell College where she is pursuing a major in Biology and a concentration in Neuroscience. She joined the Gantz Lab in the summer of 2022 through the Biomedical Scholars Summer Undergraduate Research ProgramShe is interested in neuronal morphology and dendritic complexity in GluD1 receptor knockout mice. 

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Erik Ingebretsen

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Research Intern

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Erik Ingebretsen received his B.S. in Neuroscience from the University of Iowa in 2022. He is interested in how psychoactive substances effect the brain mechanistically, and how they can be used as an alternative treatment to mental health disorders.

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LAB ALUMNI
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Holly Hake

Research Intern

February 2018 - June 2019

Holly received her B.Sc. in Psychology from the University of Colorado, Denver in 2017. Holly then trained as a post baccalaureate at the National Institute on Drug Abuse under the mentorship of Dr. Stephanie Gantz. Her work characterizing GluD1R-channels and identifying novel circuitry underlying ⍺1-adrenergic receptor-dependent excitation of the dorsal raphe contributed to Gantz et al 2020 (Elife) and Khamma et al 2022 (JNeurosci). Currently, Holly is a neuroscience PhD candidate at the University of Washington with a primary focus on computational psychiatry. There, Holly is developing a computational framework to increase the predictive utility of both behavior and intrinsic brain connectivity data.

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Jacqueline Khamma

Research Intern

October 2020 - July 2022

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. Her research using brain slice immunohistochemistry, in situ hybridization, and confocal microscopy established that serotonin but not non-serotonin dorsal raphe neurons are excited by synaptic release of noradrenaline (Khamma et al., 2022) This research was featured on the cover of The Journal of Neuroscience in February 2022. Currently, Jae is a psychology PhD student with a focus in behavioral neuroscience at the University of Iowa. 

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Daniel Copeland

Research Intern

October 2020 - July 2022

Daniel obtained his B.S. in Biology from Iowa State University in 2019. Prior to joining the Gantz lab team, he accumulated an array of diverse training experiences at Iowa State University and the University of Notre Dame. In the Gantz lab, Daniel’s electrophysiological research contributed to the understanding of how GluD1R channels carry a tonic current (Copeland and Gantz, 2022, BioRxiv). He also contributed to work investigating the control of noradrenaline release in the dorsal raphe nucleus (Khamma et al., 2022, JNeurosci), while preparing a research highlight on cocaine-induced plasticity (Copeland and Gantz, 2021, Neuropsychopharmacology). Daniel now lives in Durham, NC where he is a molecular genetics and microbiology PhD student at Duke University.

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