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About Kevin Currie

Research in the Currie lab encompasses the ion channels, transporters, and G protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) that control neuronal excitability and neurotransmitter secretion in the peripheral nervous system.  Currently, our main focus is control of the sympathetic stress response by serotonin (5-HT) and the serotonin transporter (SERT).  Genetic variations in SERT are associated with depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive compulsive disorder, and autism. Furthermore, SERT is a target for some psychostimulant drugs and widely prescribed antidepressants (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors - SSRIs).  Our work is the first to show that SERT and 5-HT control catecholamine secretion from adrenal chromaffin cells, the neuroendocrine arm of the sympathetic nervous system.  We hypothesize that this constitutes a key peripheral hub for serotonergic control of the sympathetic stress response.  In another project, we are investigating the mechanisms that regulate excitability of dorsal root ganglion neurons which convey sensory information (pain / itch) to the CNS.  In both these projects we combine genetic models (transgenic mice) with biochemical and physiological techniques including patch-clamp electrophysiology, carbon fiber amperometry, and fluorescent calcium imaging. Our overall goal is to understand the fundamental physiological mechanisms that control neuronal function and to identify potential therapeutic targets for treatment of nervous and endocrine system disorders in which these finely tuned processes are disrupted.

Positions

2017 - Present Associate Professor of Biomedical Sciences, Rowan University Cooper Medical School of Rowan University
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2012 - 2017 Associate Professor of Anesthesiology & Pharmacology, Vanderbilt University ‐ School of Medicine
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2002 - 2012 Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology & Pharmacology, Vanderbilt University ‐ School of Medicine
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Grants

2018 - Present The role of the glial engulfment receptor Jedi1 in regulating sensory neuron function
NIH (NINDS) - R01NS102365
Role: co-investigator (PI for subcontract)
Colleague(s): PI: Bruce Carter, Vanderbilt University
2017 - Present Control of Adrenal Catecholamine Secretion: a Novel Role for the Serotonin Transporter
American Heart Association - 17GRNT33661156
Role: PI
2013 - 2016 Serotonin transporter-mediated regulation of neuroendocrine exocytosis
NIH (NINDS) - R21NS081492
Role: PI
2012 - 2013 Lab-on-a-chip Microfluidic Device for Integrative Analyses of Sympathoadrenal - Cardiomyocyte Interactions
American Heart Association - 12IRG9070003
Role: PI
2011 - 2013 Regulation of Adrenal Catecholamine Release by Prostaglandin E2
American Heart Association - 11GRNT7890031
Role: PI
2006 - 2013 G-protein regulation of exocytotic transmitter release
NIH (NINDS) - R01NS052446
Role: PI
2006 - 2011 G Protein Structure and Function
NIH - R01EY010291
Role: co-investigator (10% effort)
Colleague(s): PI: Heidi Hamm, Vanderbilt University
2006 - 2008 Control of Calcium Channel Currents and Catecholamine Secretion During Physiological Trains of Action Potentials
American Heart Association - AHA 0665219B
Role: PI
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Research Works (40)