Antonius M. J. VanDongen

Antonius M. J. VanDongen
Associate Professor of Pharmacology & Cancer Biology, with tenure
Third Year Mentor - Cardiovascular Study Program (CVS)
Third Year Mentor - Clinical Research Study Program (CRSP)
Campus mail: C138A Lev Sci Res Ctr, Durham, NC 27708
Phone: (919) 681-4862

Ion channels are complex integral membrane proteins that serve many physiological roles. Our primary objective is to understand how ion channels function, at both the molecular and cellular level. For this aim we employ two model systems: drk1 (Kv2.1), a voltage-gated K channel expressed in the central nervous system and the heart, and the NMDA receptor, a member of the ionotropic glutamte receptor family critically involved in learning and memory. The relationship between structure and function is investigated for these channels using mutagenesis and electrophysiology. The role of the NMDA receptor in synaptic plasticity is studied in hippocampal neurons, using fluorescence microscopy and biochemistry approaches.

Education and Training

  • Utrecht University (The Netherlands), B.S. 1979
  • Utrecht University (The Netherlands), M.S. 1982
  • Leiden University (Netherlands), Ph.D. 1988


Activation mechanisms of the NMDA receptor

© 2009 by Taylor and Francis Group, LLC. NMDA receptors (NMDARs) are glutamate-gated cation channels with high calcium permeability that play important roles in many aspects of the biology of higher organisms.