Program Faculty

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  • Loren Runnels
  • Associate Professor
  • Department: Department of Pharmacology
  • Phone: 1.7322354593
  • Email:
  • Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
  • Research Tower, Fourth Floor
  • 675 Hoes Lane West
  • Piscataway, NJ 08854
  • Key Words: Signal transduction, Live cell imaging, Confocal microscopy, Biochemistry, Electrophysiology

Our research is dedicated to investigating the physiological and pathological functions of a unique bifunctional ion channel TRPM7, which our most recent studies indicate is involved in the Wnt pathway’s control of cell adhesion and cell motility during early development. TRPM7 is a ubiquitously expressed magnesium and calcium permanent ion channel that is fused to a protein kinase. It is a member of the transient receptor potential (TRP) family with greatest homology to the TRPM6 ion channel and kinase, which as been identified as the gene responsible for the rare autosomal disorder familial hypomagnesemia with secondary hypocalcemia (HSH). We are presently investigating the function and regulation of these important ion channels in early development as well as during neuronal injury, where TRPM7 has been suggested to play an especially critical role. This laboratory employs a multi-disciplinary approach to study the function of these unusual macromolecules. Among the many tools our laboratory uses are confocal microscopy. electrophysiology, biochemistry, and molecular biology.