John Wemmie, MD, PhD


Professor of Psychiatry
Professor of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, Neurosurgery

Contact Information

Office: 1314 Pappajohn Biomedical Discovery Building
Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone: 319-384-3173

Web: John Wemmie Laboratory, Molecular Psychiatry Division


BA, Chemistry, Central College, Pella, IA
MD, The University of Iowa College of Medicine, Iowa City, IA
PhD, Physiology and Biophysics, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA

Residency, Psychiatry, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City, IA

Licensure and Certifications

ABPN Certification: Psychiatry, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology

Education/Training Program Affiliations

Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Neuroscience
Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Translational Biomedicine
Medical Scientist Training Program

Research Summary

We recently found that the Acid Sensing Ion Channel, ASIC contributes to synaptic plasticity, learning and memory. ASIC is one of three mammalian members of the DEG/ENaC cation channel family in mammals that are transiently activated by low extracellular pH. ASIC channels are voltage-insensitive and share a large extracellular domain thought to serve as a receptor for extracellular stimuli. Disrupting ASIC in mice eliminated acid-evoked cation currents in central neurons and led to impaired hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP), learning and memory. Our current research focuses on identifying the mechanism for ASIC activation in vivo, understanding the role of ASIC in synaptic plasticity, and establishing an uninterrupted link between ASIC channel activity and its behavioral impact.

Selected Publications

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Johnson C, Heo H, Thedens D, Wemmie J, Magnotta V.  Rapid acquisition strategy for functional T1rho mapping of the brain.  Magn Reson Imaging.  2014 August 2. 32(9):1067-77.

Feinstein J, Buzza C, Hurlemann R, Follmer R, Dahdaleh N, Coryell W, Welsh M, Tranel D, Wemmie J.  Fear and panic in humans with bilateral amygdala damage..  Nat Neurosci.  2013. 16(3):270-2.

Holland P, Akerman S, Andreou A, Karsan N, Wemmie J, Goadsby P.  Acid-sensing ion channel 1: a novel therapeutic target for migraine with aura..  Ann Neurol.  2012. 72(4):559-63.

Magnotta V, Heo H, Dlouhy B, Dahdaleh N, Follmer R, Thedens D, Welsh M, Wemmie J.  Detecting activity-evoked pH changes in human brain..  Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A.  2012. 109(21):8270-3.

Vralsted V, Price M, Du J, Schnizler M, Wunsch A, Ziemann A, Welsh M, Wemmie J.  Expressing acid-sensing ion channel 3 in the brain alters acid-evoked currents and impairs fear conditioning..  Genes Brain Behav.  2011. 10(4):444-50.

Roghair R, Wemmie J, Volk K, Scholz T, Lamb F, Segar J.  Maternal antioxidant blocks programmed cardiovascular and behavioural stress responses in adult mice..  Clin Sci (Lond).  2011. 121(10):427-36.

Tao H, Manak J, Sowers L, Mei X, Kiyonari H, Abe T, Dahdaleh N, Yang T, Wu S, Chen S, Fox M, Gurnett C, Montine T, Bird T, Shaffer L, Rosenfeld J, McConnell J, Madan-Khetarpal S, Berry-Kravis E, Griesbach H, Saneto R, Scott M, Antic D, Reed J, Boland R, Ehaideb S, El-Shanti H, Mahajan V, Ferguson P, Axelrod J, Lehesjoki A, Fritzsch B, Slusarski D, Wemmie J, Ueno N, Bassuk A.  Mutations in prickle orthologs cause seizures in flies, mice, and humans..  Am J Hum Genet.  2011. 88(2):138-49.

Erkonen G, Hermann G, Miller R, Thedens D, Nopoulos P, Wemmie J, Roghair R.  Neonatal leptin administration alters regional brain volumes and blocks neonatal growth restriction-induced behavioral and cardiovascular dysfunction in male mice..  Pediatr Res.  2011. 69(5 Pt 1):406-12.

Wemmie J.  Neurobiology of panic and pH chemosensation in the brain.  Dialogues Clin Neurosci.  2011. 13(4):475-83.

van der Plas E, Boes A, Wemmie J, Tranel D, Nopoulos P.  Amygdala volume correlates positively with fearfulness in normal healthy girls..  Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci.  2010. 5(4):424-31.

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