Faculty of Biological Sciences

Prof Nikita Gamper

MS, PhD 1998, St Petersburg
Professor of Neuroscience
School of Biomedical Sciences

Background: 1995-1998 PhD Physiology, Sechenov Institute of Evolutionary Physiology and Biochemistry, St Petersburg, Russia. 1999-2001 Postdoctral Fellow, Tuebingen University, Germany. 2001-2005 Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, USA

Contact:  Garstang 6.31d, +44(0) 113 34 37923, email address for  

Separation of electrical charges on the plasma membrane of the cell achieved by the complex balance of activities of different ion channels, transporters and pumps is a fundamental principle of life form organization. Dysfunctions of ion channels or their regulation causes a number of human diseases ranging from epilepsy to sudden cardiac death. We study function and regulation of ion channels and, in larger perspective, regulation of cellular excitability. Particular focus of the group is the regulation of excitability of peripheral pain-sensing (nociceptive) neurones in relation to pain signalling. We investigate the regulation of ion channels that control or influence excitability and synaptic transmission of nociceptors (e.g. KCNQ or M channels, Ca2+-activated Cl- channels, sensory TRP channels and voltage-gated Ca2+ channels). Our group is also interested in the modulation of different neuronal ion channels by G protein coupled receptors (GPSRs) and in GPCR signalling networks of sensory neurones. One of the latest projects is aimed at the investigation of the transcriptional regulation of neuronal K+ channels in chronic pain states.

We use a wide range of the cutting-edge methods and techniques which allow us to follow our research questions from the level of individual molecules and up to the whole-organism level. Thus we use biochemical and molecular biological approaches to study individual proteins and genes; we use electrophysiology (patch-clamp and voltage clamp) and bioimaging methods (including live confocal and TIRF microscopy) to study individual cells and, finally, we use various behavioural approaches to probe neuronal signalling in vivo.

Current and recent funding: Wellcome Trust, MRC, BBSRC and the Royal Society

Key recent publications:

Du, X., Hao, H., Gigout, S., Huang, D., Yang, Y., Li, L., Wang, C., Sundt, D., Jaffe, D.B., Zhang, H., Gamper, N. (2014) Control of Somatic Membrane Potential in Nociceptive Neurons and its Implications for Peripheral Nociceptive Transmission. PAIN 155:2306-22

Jin, X., Shah, S., Liu, Y., Zhang, H., Lees, M., Fu, Z., Lippiat, J.D., Beech, D.J., Sivaprasadarao, A., Baldwin, S.A., Zhang, H., Gamper, N. (2013) Activation of the Cl- Channel ANO1 by Localized Calcium Signals in Nociceptive Sensory Neurons Requires Coupling with the IP3 Receptor. Science Signaling. 6(290):ra73.

Pettinger, L., Gigout, S., Linley, J.E., Gamper, N. (2013) Bradykinin controls pool size of sensory neurons expressing functional δ-opioid receptors. J Neurosci  33:10762-71.

Ooi, L., Gigout, S., Pettinger, L., Gamper, N. (2013) Triple cysteine module within M-type K+ channels mediates reciprocal channel modulation by nitric oxide and reactive oxygen species. J Neurosci 33:6041-6.

Linley, J.E., Ooi, L., Pettinger, L., Kirton, H., Boyle, J.P., Peers, C., Gamper, N. (2012) Reactive oxygen species are second messengers of neurokinin signaling in peripheral sensory neurons. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 109, E1578-86.

Rose, K. Ooi, L., Dalle, C., Robertson, B., Wood, I.C., Gamper, N. (2011) Transcriptional repression of the M channel subunit Kv7.2 in chronic nerve injury. PAIN 152,742-54.

Mucha, M., Ooi, L., Linley, J., Mordaka, P., Dalle, C., Robertson, B., Gamper, N., Wood, I. (2010) Transcriptional control of KCNQ channel genes and the regulation of neuronal excitability. J Neurosci 30, 13235-45.

Liu, B., Linley, J.E., Du, X., Zhang, X., Ooi, L., Zhang, H., Gamper, N. (2010) The Acute Nociceptive Signals Induced by Bradykinin in Rat Sensory Neurons are mediated by inhibition of M-type K+ channels and activation of Ca2+-activated Cl- channels. J Clin Invest 120, 1240-52.

Milligan, C.J., Li, J., Sukumar, P., Majeed, Y., Dallas, M.L., English, A., Emery, P., Porter, K.E., Smith, A.M., McFadzean, I.,  Beccano-Kelly, D., Bahnasi, Y., Cheong, A., Naylor, J., Zeng, F., Liu, X., Gamper, N., Jiang, L.-H., Pearson, H.A., Peers, C., Robertson, B., Beech, D.J. (2009).  Robotic multi-well planar patch-clamp for native and primary mammalian cells. Nature Protocols 4, 244-55.

Linley, J.E., Rose, K., Patyl, M., Robertson, B., Akopian, A.N., Gamper, N. (2008) Inhibition of M Current in Sensory Neurons by Exogenous Proteases: a Signalling Pathway Mediating Inflammatory Nociception. J Neurosci 28, 11240-11249.

Gamper, N., Shapiro, M.S. (2007). Regulation of ion transport proteins by membrane phosphoinositides. Nat Rev Neurosci 8:921-934.

Gamper, N., Zaika, O., Li, Y., Martin, P., Hernandez, C.C., Perez, M.R., Wang, A.Y., Jaffe, D.B., Shapiro, M.S. (2006) Oxidative modification of M-type K+ channels as a mechanism of cytoprotective neuronal silencing. EMBO J 25, 4996-5004.

Patwardhan, A.M., Jeske, N.A., Price, T.J., Gamper, N., Akopian, A.N., Hargreaves, K.M. (2006) The cannabinoid WIN 55,212-2 inhibits transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) and evokes peripheral antihyperalgesia via calcineurin. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 103, 11393-8.


Faculty Research and Innovation

Studentship information

Postgraduate studentship areas:

  • Postgraduate studentship: strong candidates willing to do a PHD in the area of neuronal ion channel regulation are encouraged to apply

See also:

Modules taught

BMSC1213 - Basic Laboratory and Scientific Skills 2
BMSC2118 - Neurobiology
BMSC2120 - Scientific Skills
BMSC2223 - Neuropharmacology
BMSC2223/BMSC3302 - Neuropharmacology/Medical Pharmacology
BMSC2231 - Topics in Neuroscience
BMSC2235 - Molecular Neuroscience
BMSC3140 - Advanced Scientific Skills
BMSC3143/44/45/46 - Advanced topics for BMS students I
BMSC3301 - Research Project in Biomedical Sciences
BMSC3399 - Extended Research Project Preparation

Centre membership: Neuroscience Research at Leeds (NeuR@L)

Dr Sylvain Gigout  (Research Fellow)

Dr Hannah Marie Kirton  (Research Fellow)


Alexandra-Silvia Hogea (Primary supervisor) 50% FTE
Rosmaliza Ramli (Primary supervisor) 75% FTE
Shihab Shah (Primary supervisor) 75% FTE
Eleni Kyriakopoulou (Co-supervisor) 10% FTE
Cédric Stefens (Co-supervisor) 10% FTE