Biosciences Graduate Program

Christopher A. Ahern, PhD


Associate Professor of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

Contact Information

Office: 4256 CBRB
Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone: 319-335-6964

Lab: 4270 CBRB
Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone: 319-335-6990



BSc, Chemistry, University of Wisconsin
PhD, Physiology, University of Wisconsin

Fellowship, American Heart Association
Fellowship, NIH Cardiovascular Research
Fellowship, Farber Institute for Neuroscience
Post Doctorate, Physiology, Jefferson Medical College

Education/Training Program Affiliations

Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics PhD

Research Summary

Our current research focus is on the function and pharmacology voltage-gated sodium channels that drive the rapid upstroke of the action-potential throughout the body. We find motivation in the observation that inherited or acquired functional defects in these integral membrane proteins is associated with cardiac arrhythmia, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and painful syndromes. In the lab, we work at the interface of membrane biophysics and chemical biology. Our particular expertise is in the synthesis and expression channels harboring tailor made non-natural amino acids and the general application of chemical biological approaches to the study of voltage-gated channels. We have had success in expressing synthetic amino acids in many channel and receptor types for pharmacological studies of ligand and drug interactions as well as structure function relationships.

Date Last Modified: 06/06/2016 - 13:17:48