Martin J. Gallagher, M.D., Ph.D.

Associate Professor

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Faculty Appointments
Associate Professor of Neurology
Ph.D., Molecular Biophysics, Washington University, Saint Louis, MissouriM.D., Medicine, Washington University, Saint Louis, MissouriB.S., Chemistry, University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana
Office Address
465 21st Ave South, 6140B MRBIII
Nashville, TN 37232-8552
Research Description
In 1995 S.F. Berkovic and colleagues identified the first mutation in an ion channel (nicotinic acetylcholine receptor) associated with a genetic form of human epilepsy. Since then genetic linkage analysis has identified mutations in sodium, potassium, calcium, and GABA ion channels in patients with inherited seizure disorders. My main research interest is to deduce how these mutations affect ion channel structure and function.

We study the effects of monogenic epilepsy mutations on protein expression and electrophysiology in both cultured cells as well as genetically modified mice. In addition, we study the effects of these mutations on the development of seizures and neurobehavioral abnormalities in genetically modified mice.
Research Keywords
Epilepsy, electrophysiology, ion channel, biochemistry, EEG, electroencephalogram, seizure, immunohistochemistry, neurobehavior, genetically modified mice, protein expression, protein trafficking, sleep
Clinical Research Keywords
quantitative EEG epilepsy surgery outcome
Kang JQ, Shen W, Lee M, Gallagher MJ, Macdonald RL. Slow degradation and aggregation in vitro of mutant GABAA receptor gamma2(Q351X) subunits associated with epilepsy. J. Neurosci. 2010 Oct 10/13/2010; 30(41): 13895-905. PMID: 20943930, PMCID: PMC2976503, PII: 30/41/13895, DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2320-10.2010, ISSN: 1529-2401.

Feng HJ, Kao C, Gallagher MJ, Jansen ED, Mahadevan-Jansen A, Konrad PE, Macdonald RL. Alteration of GABAergic neurotransmission by pulsed infrared laser stimulation. J. Neurosci. Methods [print-electronic]. 2010 Sep 9/30/2010; 192(1): 110-4. PMID: 20654645, PMCID: PMC3096872, PII: S0165-0270(10)00388-2, DOI: 10.1016/j.jneumeth.2010.07.014, ISSN: 1872-678X.

Ding L, Feng HJ, Macdonald RL, Botzolakis EJ, Hu N, Gallagher MJ. GABA(A) receptor alpha1 subunit mutation A322D associated with autosomal dominant juvenile myoclonic epilepsy reduces the expression and alters the composition of wild type GABA(A) receptors. J. Biol. Chem [print-electronic]. 2010 Aug 8/20/2010; 285(34): 26390-405. PMID: 20551311, PMCID: PMC2924069, PII: M110.142299, DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M110.142299, ISSN: 1083-351X.

Macdonald RL, Kang JQ, Gallagher MJ. Mutations in GABAA receptor subunits associated with genetic epilepsies. J. Physiol. (Lond.) [print-electronic]. 2010 Jun 6/1/2010; 588(Pt 11): 1861-9. PMID: 20308251, PMCID: PMC2901974, PII: jphysiol.2010.186999, DOI: 10.1113/jphysiol.2010.186999, ISSN: 1469-7793.

Gallagher MJ, Ding L, Maheshwari A, Macdonald RL. The GABAA receptor alpha1 subunit epilepsy mutation A322D inhibits transmembrane helix formation and causes proteasomal degradation. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A [print-electronic]. 2007 Aug 8/7/2007; 104(32): 12999-3004. PMID: 17670950, PMCID: PMC1941799, PII: 0700163104, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0700163104, ISSN: 0027-8424.

Recio MV, Gallagher MJ, McLean MJ, Abou-Khalil B. Clinical features of epilepsy in patients with cerebellar structural abnormalities in a referral center. Epilepsy Res [print-electronic]. 2007 Aug; 76(1): 1-5. PMID: 17664061, PII: S0920-1211(07)00147-7, DOI: 10.1016/j.eplepsyres.2007.05.006, ISSN: 0920-1211.

Gallagher MJ. Mutant batten disease protein says "no" to unsaturated fats [editorial]. Epilepsy Curr. 2007; 7((3)): 82-3.

Tayah TF, Abou-Khalil B, Gilliam FG, Knowlton RC, Wushensky CA, Gallagher MJ. Musicogenic seizures can arise from multiple temporal lobe foci: intracranial EEG analyses of three patients. Epilepsia. 2006 Aug; 47(8): 1402-6. PMID: 16922888, PII: EPI609, DOI: 10.1111/j.1528-1167.2006.00609.x, ISSN: 0013-9580.

Macdonald RL, Kang JQ, Gallagher MJ, Feng HJ. GABA(A) receptor mutations associated with generalized epilepsies. Adv. Pharmacol. 2006; 54: 147-69. PMID: 17175814, ISSN: 1054-3589.

Gallagher MJ, Shen W, Song L, Macdonald RL. Endoplasmic reticulum retention and associated degradation of a GABAA receptor epilepsy mutation that inserts an aspartate in the M3 transmembrane segment of the alpha1 subunit. J. Biol. Chem [print-electronic]. 2005 Nov 11/11/2005; 280(45): 37995-8004. PMID: 16123039, PII: M508305200, DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M508305200, ISSN: 0021-9258.

Jones-Davis DM, Song L, Gallagher MJ, Macdonald RL. Structural determinants of benzodiazepine allosteric regulation of GABA(A) receptor currents. J. Neurosci. 2005 Aug 8/31/2005; 25(35): 8056-65. PMID: 16135763, PII: 25/35/8056, DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0348-05.2005, ISSN: 1529-2401.

Macdonald RL, Gallagher MJ, Feng HJ, Kang J. GABA(A) receptor epilepsy mutations. Biochem. Pharmacol. 2004 Oct 10/15/2004; 68(8): 1497-506. PMID: 15451392, PII: S0006-2952(04)00543-X, DOI: 10.1016/j.bcp.2004.07.029, ISSN: 0006-2952.

Gallagher MJ, Song L, Arain F, Macdonald RL. The juvenile myoclonic epilepsy GABA(A) receptor alpha1 subunit mutation A322D produces asymmetrical, subunit position-dependent reduction of heterozygous receptor currents and alpha1 subunit protein expression. J. Neurosci. 2004 Jun 6/16/2004; 24(24): 5570-8. PMID: 15201329, PII: 24/24/5570, DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1301-04.2004, ISSN: 1529-2401.

Gallagher MJ, Eisenman LN, Brown KM, Erbayat-Altay E, Hecimovic H, Fessler AJ, Attarian HP, Gilliam FG. Levetiracetam reduces spike-wave density and duration during continuous EEG monitoring in patients with idiopathic generalized epilepsy [letter]. Epilepsia. 2004 Jan; 45(1): 90-1. PMID: 14692914, ISSN: 0013-9580.

Arias HR, McCardy EA, Bayer EZ, Gallagher MJ, Blanton MP. Allosterically linked noncompetitive antagonist binding sites in the resting nicotinic acetylcholine receptor ion channel. Arch. Biochem. Biophys. 2002 Jul 7/1/2002; 403(1): 121-31. PMID: 12061809, PII: S0003-9861(02)00214-X, DOI: 10.1016/S0003-9861(02)00214-X, ISSN: 0003-9861.

Arias HR, McCardy EA, Gallagher MJ, Blanton MP. Interaction of barbiturate analogs with the Torpedo californica nicotinic acetylcholine receptor ion channel. Mol. Pharmacol. 2001 Sep; 60(3): 497-506. PMID: 11502880, ISSN: 0026-895X.

Gallagher MJ, Chiara DC, Cohen JB. Interactions between 3-(Trifluoromethyl)-3-(m-[(125)I]iodophenyl)diazirine and tetracaine, phencyclidine, or histrionicotoxin in the Torpedo series nicotinic acetylcholine receptor ion channel. Mol. Pharmacol. 2001 Jun; 59(6): 1514-22. PMID: 11353813, ISSN: 0026-895X.

Blanton MP, McCardy EA, Gallagher MJ. Examining the noncompetitive antagonist-binding site in the ion channel of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor in the resting state. J. Biol. Chem. 2000 Feb 2/4/2000; 275(5): 3469-78. PMID: 10652341, ISSN: 0021-9258.

Gallagher MJ, Cohen JB. Identification of amino acids of the torpedo nicotinic acetylcholine receptor contributing to the binding site for the noncompetitive antagonist [(3)H]tetracaine. Mol. Pharmacol. 1999 Aug; 56(2): 300-7. PMID: 10419548, ISSN: 0026-895X.

Gallagher MJ, Chan YL, Lin A, Wool IG. Primary structure of rat ribosomal protein L36a. DNA. 1988 May; 7(4): 269-73. PMID: 3396452, ISSN: 0198-0238.

Available Postdoctoral Position Details
Posted: 1/31/2011
There is a postdoctoral position available immediately for motivated candidates to investigate the pathogenic mechanisms involved in the development of genetic forms of epilepsy. Knowledge of immunohistochemistry is essential and experience with biochemistry and electrophysiology experiments is beneficial.

NINDS R01NS064286