Portrait or Prof Kara Marshall and text stating her name, institution, website and twitter address

Seminar title: Under Pressure: the role of PIEZO ion channels in interoception

Abstract: PIEZO ion channels detect force in cellular membranes. They are expressed in a wide variety of mammalian tissues, including the vasculature, lymphatic system, and the nervous system. We have found that PIEZO2 in sensory neurons is required for the mechanical senses of touch and proprioception, but our understanding of internal organ sensing, interoception, is far behind.

I will describe our findings on the role of PIEZO ion channels in the lesser-known interoceptive senses in multiple organ systems.

Speaker biography: Dr. Kara Marshall received her Ph.D. from Columbia University, where she studied the structure and function of touch receptors with Dr. Ellen Lumpkin. Her postdoctoral work was in the lab of Dr. Ardem Patapoutian at Scripps Research, where she has explored force-sensing inside the body. Internal force-sensing is critical for a variety of physiological processes such as blood pressure sensing, digestion and bladder stretch sensing.

She is opening her laboratory at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX in the spring of 2022, where she will continue to explore the molecular and cellular basis of internal force-sensing in healthy and disease states.

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