Professor of Cell Biology and Anatomy
Phone: (914) 594-4042
New York Medical College
Department of Cell Biology amd Anatomy
15 Dana Rd
Valhalla, NY 10595
Dr. Eliana Scemes is a Professor at the Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy at New York Medical College, NY. She previously held a faculty position at the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil and latter at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, NY. She earned her BS in Zoology and her PhD in Physiology from the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil and completed postdoctoral training at the Department of Neuroscience, Albert Einstein College of Medicine.
Dr. Scemes' research focus on astrocyte-neuron communication, particularly on the contribution of gap junctions (connexins and pannexins) and purinergic signaling to CNS pathophysiology. At present, her research project deals with the contribution of pannexin to astrocyte and neuronal ATP signaling and its implications for seizures.
Ongoing Project Overview:
Purinergic ATP-mediated signaling is one of the most prominent mechanisms by which astrocytes interact with neurons. The non-lytic release ATP occurs through multiple mechanisms, including pannexin1 (Panx1) channels. Pannexins are abundantly expressed in the CNS, both in glia and neurons, where they have been implicated in ischemic neuronal death, neuro-inflammation, and epileptiform activity. Studies from my laboratory found that Panx1 channels mediate the release of ATP that prolongs status epilepticus (SE). A major question that remains to be answered, however, regards whether astrocytes or neurons are the cells that contribute to Panx1-mediated seizures.
Thus, the goals of ongoing research are to determine the extent to which astrocyte and neuronal Panx1 contribute to status epilepticus by releasing ATP and to characterize the biophysical properties and signal transduction events mediating Panx1 channel activation in solitary astrocytes and cultured neurons.
Methods used to evaluate the extent to which astrocytic and neuronal Panx1 channels contribute to seizures, includes field potential recordings from cortical-hippocampal slices derived from wild-type and transgenic mice, behavioral monitoring, and electroencephalographic (EEG) recordings of pharmaco-induced SE. Methods to identify the domains and provide insights to the signaling molecules involved in Panx1 activation we perform patch clamp recordings from Panx1- null astrocytes and neurons expressing Panx1 mutants and/or peptides spanning specific domains of Panx1 that are relevant for channel activation.
Dr. Scemes has published 62 original studies, 13 review articles, 17 book chapters and edited one book.