Damien S. K. Samways
Department of Biology
210 Science Center
PO Box 5805
Potsdam, NY 13699-5805
Google Scholar Page:
Education: Ph.D., Department of Pharmacology, University of Bristol, (2003)
Courses Currently Taught: BY460 Neurobiology
BY360/BY362 Comparative Physiology
Ligand-gated cation channels are specialized membrane spanning proteins that open and form an cation permeable pore in response to binding by a specific chemical ligand. These transport caions, such as Na+ and Ca2+, into the cell, which subsequently regulate nerve and muscle cell excitability and influence numerous Ca2+-dependent processes including secretion, contraction, gene expression and cell survival.
My current research interest is in the structure, function and regulation of Ca2+ permeable ligand-gated ion channels known to be involved in pain sensation, including the ATP-gated P2X receptors and the capsaicin-sensitive TRPV1 receptors responsible for mediating the burning sensation associated with noxious heat and spicy food. Understanding the molecular basis of ion channel function in human cells is an important step towards designing new drugs capable of targeting these proteins for therapeutic purposes.
Publications (last 5 years)
Z. Lin, P. Perez, Z. Sun, J.J. Liu, J.H. Shin, K.L. Hyrc, D.S.K. Samways, T.M. Egan, M.C. Holley, J. Bao (2012). Reprogramming of single-cell-derived mesenchymal stem cells into hair cell-like cells. Otol Neurotol. 2012 Dec;33(9):1648-55.
D.S.K. Samways, B.S. Khakh, and T. M. Egan (2012). Allosteric modulation of Ca2+ flux in ligand-gated cation channel (P2X4) by actions on lateral portals. J. Biol. Chem. Mar 2;287(10):7594-602
D.S.K. Samways and T. M. Egan (2011). Calcium-dependent decrease in TRPV1 conductance. Pflugers Arch. Nov;462(5):681-91.
D.S.K. Samways, B. Khakh , S. Dutertre , T. M. Egan (2011). Preferential use of unobstructed lateral portals as the access route to the pore of a human P2X receptor. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. Aug 16;108:13800-5.
E. Toulme, A. Garcia, D.S.K. Samways, T.M. Egan, M.J. Carson, and B.S. Khakh (2010). P2X4 receptor specificity, functional properties, trafficking and pharmacology of upregulated P2X responses in activated cerebellar microglia. J. Gen. Physiol. 135, 333-353
D.S.K. Samways, A.B. Harkins and T.M. Egan (2009). Native and recombinant ASIC1a receptors conduct negligible calcium entry. Cell Calcium. 45, 319-25
J.C. Scatizzi, M.Mavers, J. Hutcheson, B. Young, B. Shi, R.M. Pope, D.S.K. Samways, J. A. Corbett, T.M. Egan, and H. Perlman (2009). The cyclin dependent kinase domain of p21 is a suppressor of IL-1beta-mediated inflammation in activated macrophages. Euro. J. Immunol. 39,820-5