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Dr Ewan Smith

Dr Ewan Smith

University Senior Lecturer

Sensory neurophysiology and pain


Office Phone: +44 (0) 1223 3 34048 / Lab: 3 34043

Keywords

  • neurobiology, nociception/pain, acid-sensing, ion channels

Topics

  • Neuropharmacology

Key Publications

Kozlenkov, A., Lapatsina, L., Lewin, G. R. and Smith, E. St. J. (2014). Subunit-specific inhibition of acid sensing ion channels by stomatin-like protein 1. J. Physiol., 592, 557-69.

Brand, J., Smith, E. St. J., Schwefel, D., Lapatsina, L., Poole, K., Omerbasic, D., Kozlenkov, A., Behlke, J., Lewin, G. R. and Daumke, O. (2012). A stomatin dimer modulates the activity of acid-sensing ion channels. EMBO J., 31, 3635 – 3646.

Smith, E. St. J., Omerbasic, D., Lechner, S. G., Anirudhan, G., Lapatsina, L. and Lewin, G. R. (2011). The physiological basis of acid insensitivity in the African naked mole rat. Science, 334, 1557 – 1560.

 

Investigator biography:

Ewan St. John Smith studied pharmacology at  the University of Bath before conducting his PhD with Peter McNaughton at the University of Cambridge. During this time he became interested in how sensory neurones are activated by acid, which lead to him conducting a postdoc with Gary Lewin in Berlin at the Max-Delbrück Centre to examine the acid insensitivity of naked mole-rats, research that was funded by a fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. Pursuing interests in the evolution of chemosensing he then spent a year with Niels Ringstad at NYU School of Medicine, on a Max Kade Foundation Fellowship, investigating how carbon dioxide activates neurones in the nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans.

Research in the Smith Lab is focused on understanding more about the molecular mechanisms by which stimuli activate neurones and the neuronal circuitry of behaviour. To this end, our research has two overarching aims: 

1) To elucidate the mechanisms by which acid activates pain-sensing neurones (nociceptors) in inflammatory pain and to identify the neuronal subsets involved in generating acid-pain.

2) To leverage the unusual phenotypes of the naked mole-rat (e.g. cancer-resistance, longevity, hypoxia/hypercapnia resistant and poikilothermy) to discover more about normal physiology in other mammals.

We use a range of techniques to investigate these areas: electrophysiology, molecular biology, imaging, immunohistochemistry and behaviour.