Gail A. Robertson, PHD

Position title: Professor, Neuroscience


Phone: 608-265-3339

Organ System/Disease Focus:
Molecular mechanisms of ion channel function; translational cardiovascular research
Aligned Research Focus:
Stem cell-derived cardiac cells lines
Gail Robertson headshot


More information:
Research Description:

Work in the my lab focuses on ion channels controlling membrane excitability and mechanisms underlying ion channelopathies in the heart and nervous system. A major focus is on catastrophic cardiac arrhythmias associated with perturbations of the hERG ion channel. The lack of suitable animal models for physiological studies of hERG in cardiac repolarization led us to utilize and improve upon cardiomyocytes derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hIPSCs). We used this system to reveal the composition of native heteromeric hERG channels, and by manipulating subunit composition we mimicked patient-specific disease and associated pro-arrhythmic behavior. In ongoing studies we are using these cells to uncover the rich physiological proteome and epigenetic mechanisms required to maintain normal rhythmic behavior in the heart.

Selected References
  • Zhao, Y., Goldschen-Ohm, M., Morais Cabral, J., Chanda, B. and Robertson, G.A. (2017). The intrinsically-liganded cyclic nucleotide-binding homology domain promotes KCNH channel activation.  J. Gen. Physiol. 149:249-260. PMCID: PMC5299623

    *Also included in JGP issue “Special Collection on Kinetic Modeling of Ion Channel Function.”

  • Jones, D.K.*, Johnson, A.A.*, Roti Roti, E.C.*, Liu, F., Uelmen, R., Jones, E.M.C., Ayers, R.A., Baczko, I., Tester, D., Ackerman, M.J., Trudeau, # M.C. and Robertson, G.A.# (2018). TRIOBP-1 regulates hERG channel surface expression and action potential morphology in the mammalian heart. J. Cell Science 131:doi: 10.1242/jcs.206730. PMCID:PMC5897710. *Equal contributions. #Corresponding authors.
  • Eichel C.A., Rios-Pérez E.B., Liu F., Jameson M.B., Jones D.K., Knickelbine J.J., Robertson G.A. (2019). A microtranslatome coordinately regulates sodium and potassium currents in the human heart. Elife DOI: 10.7554/eLife.52654 PMCID: PMC6867827
  • Vandenberg J: F1000Prime Recommendation of [Eichel CA et al., elife 2019 8]. In F1000Prime, 14 Nov 2019; 10.3410/f.736834995.793567133
  • Robertson, G.A. and Morais-Cabral, J.H. (2020). hERG function in light of structure. Biophys. J. 118:79-797. doi: 10.1016/j.bpj.2019.10.010.  PMCID: PMC7036721
  • Feng, L. Zhang, J. Lee, C. Kim, G., Liu, F., Petersen, A., Lim, E., Anderson, C., Orland, K., Robertson, G., Eckhardt, L., January, C. and Kamp, T.J. (2021). Long QT Syndrome 2 PAS domain variant induces hERG1a/1b subunit imbalance in patient-specific iPSC-cardiomyocytes. Circulation: Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology.  Originally published 17 Mar 2021. PMCID: PMC8058932
  • Ríos-Pérez EB, Liu F, Stevens-Sostre WA, Eichel CA, Silignavong J, Robertson GA. (2021). A stable cell line inducibly expressing hERG1a/1b heteromeric channels. J Pharmacol Toxicol Methods doi: 10.1016/j.vascn.2021.107081.
  • Harley, C.A., Bernardo-Seisdedos, G., Stevens-Sostre, W.A., Jones, D.K., Azevedo, M.M., Sampaio, P., Lorga-Gomes, M., Trudeau, M.C., Millet, O., Robertson, G.A., and Morais-Cabral, J.H. (2021). Conformation sensitive antibody reveals an altered cytosolic PAS/CNBh assembly during hERG channel gating. Proc Natl Acad Sci 118 (44) e2108796118;