Kathleen J Sweadner, Ph.D.

Associate Investigator
Neurosurgery, Mass General Research Institute
Associate Professor of Cellular and Molecular Physiology in the Department of Neurosurgery
Harvard Medical School
alternative splicing; cyclic amp-dependent protein kinases; dystonic disorders; ion transport atpase; isoenzymes; ouabain; phosphoproteins; sodium; sodium-potassium-exchanging atpase
Ion transport ATPases are enzymes with many critical functions in the body. The Membrane Biology Lab does research on the fundamental structure and biology of two ATPases and their specific regulators.
  • Mutations in one of the ATPases, a sodium pump, causes dystonia in patients, and the lab is developing a mouse model of the disease for research on treatments
  • The sodium pump is also critical for making cerebrospinal fluid, and the lab investigates its role in hydrocephalus, using both mice and the methods of biochemistry and molecular biology. The goal is to control hydrocephalus without surgical shunts
  • Another enzyme is a plasma membrane calcium pump, and the lab investigates the structural basis of its regulation by calmodulin
  • Mice with defects in ATPase regulators called FXYD proteins were discovered to have problems with either kidney function or insulin production, opening the door to new approaches to hypertension or diabetes research