John Wemmie, MD, PhD
Photo: John Wemmie

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319-384-3173

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Elected 2011
Dr. Wemmie is a psychiatrist and neuroscientist, interested in molecular mechanisms of behavior. Specifically, Dr. Wemmie’s work focuses on the role of Acid Sensing Ion Channels (ASICs) and pH in brain function and neural signaling. Dr. Wemmie’s team identified effects of ASICs and brain pH on synaptic plasticity, fear, anxiety, and depression-related behaviors in mice. They have also found effects of ASICs on mouse models of stroke, inflammatory demyelination, and seizure termination. To help translate these discoveries to human neurological and psychiatric disorders, Dr. Wemmie’s laboratory is investigating effects of fear and panic inducing agents such as CO2 inhalation in humans. They are also exploring magnetic resonance imaging techniques to non-invasively measure pH in the human brain. Dr. Wemmie’s goals are to measure brain pH dynamics, identify the sources of these pH changes, and clarify the roles of pH sensitive receptors in mediating the behavioral and physiological responses to low pH. This knowledge may provide new insights into CNS diseases and suggest novel therapeutic opportunities.