Our research is in molecular and cellular aspects of the nervous system, with an emphasis on ion channels and phototransduction in the eye and skin. Ion channels are membrane proteins that are critically involved in functions as diverse as the beating of the heart, visual perception, learning and memory, and hormone secretion. They are also targets for many drugs, and genetic defects in ion channels can cause devastating diseases, such as cystic fibrosis.
Dr. Zimmerman received a BS in Zoology in 1978 at the University of California, Berkeley, and a PhD in Physiology & Biophysics in 1982 at the University of Miami Medical School, with advisors Dr. Birgit Rose and Dr. Karl Magleby. Her PhD thesis project was on the mechanism of cell-to-cell communication via gap junctions. Before arriving at Brown in 1987, she obtained postdoctoral training with Dr. Denis Baylor in Neurobiology at Stanford Medical School, where she began studying ion channels and visual transduction in rods and cones. At Brown, she has continued to study ion channel biophysics, regulation and function in sensory transduction. Dr. Zimmerman teaches cellular neurophysiology and biophysics to medical students, as well as to graduate and undergraduate students. She is Professor and Vice Chair of Molecular Pharmacology, Physiology & Biotechnology (MPPB), and Director of the Graduate Program in Molecular Pharmacology & Physiology.
ANITA L. ZIMMERMAN, Ph.D., University of Miami Medical School, 1982
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