Richard Hume, Ph.D.

Michigan Neuroscience Institute Affiliate
Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology
Director of Undergraduate Program in Neuroscience

Biological Sciences Building (BSB)
Room 4118
1105 N University Ave.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109



Richard Hume grew up in Youngstown Ohio, and Fair Lawn New Jersey. He was an undergraduate at Wesleyan University and got his Ph.D. at Stanford University. He did his postdoctoral training at Washington University School of Medicine. He has done sabbatical research at the Salk Institute, The University of Chicago and Columbia University

He served as Director of the University of Michigan Interdepartmental Neuroscience Ph.D. program from 1999-2003, as Chair of the Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology from 2003-2008, and as Director of the Undergraduate Program in Neuroscience since 2013.

Areas of Interest

The majority of the work done within the Hume lab over the past 30 years has focused on the structure and function of ligand-gated ion channels. These molecules mediate rapid signaling from one neuron to the next, by opening ion-selective pores in the surface membrane in response to the binding of neurotransmitters released from the adjacent presynaptic terminal. The opening of these pores elicits ion flows that cause excitation or inhibition. When ligand-gated channels spend too much or too little time open, the brain cannot process information correctly. Furthermore, alterations in ligand-gated channel activity can result in overt neurological diseases, including epilepsy and neurodegenerative diseases. For a number of years, the focus was on receptors for glutamate, the major excitatory transmitter in the mammalian brain. More recently, the focus was on P2X receptors, which are activated by extracellular ATP (adenosine 5′ phosphate), the same molecule that is the major energy source for cell metabolism. The most recent work has been done on ion channels within lysosomes that when mutated cause neurological disorders.

Published Articles or Reviews

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