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
  • Pointer, K.B., Elcieri, K.W., Clark, P., Robertson, G.A. # and Kuo, J.S. # (2017). Non-torsadogenic human Ether-a-go-go Related Gene (hERG) inhibitors are associated with better survival for high hERG-expressing glioblastoma patients. Clinical Cancer Research. #Corresponding authors. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Liu, F., Jones, D.K., de Lange, W. and Robertson, G.A. (2016). Co-translational association of mRNA encoding subunits of heteromeric ion channels. Proc Natl Acad Sci 113(17):4859-64.
  • Harley, C.*, Starek, G.*, Jones, D.K. *, Robertson, G.A.# and Morais-Cabral, J.H. # (2016). Modulation of hERG gating by antibody fragments uncovers an antiarrhythmic therapeutic strategy. Proc Natl Acad Sci 113(35):9916-21. *Equal contributions. #Corresponding authors.
  • Jones, D.K., Liu, F., Dombrowski, N., Joshi, S.A., and Robertson, G.A. (2016). Dominant-negative consequences of a hERG 1b-specific mutation associated with intrauterine fetal death. Prog Biophys Mol Biol 120(1-3):67-76.
  • Jones DK, Liu F, Vaidyanathan R, Eckhardt LL, Trudeau MC, Robertson GA. (2014). hERG 1b is critical for human cardiac repolarization. Proc Natl Acad Sci 111(50):18073-7