skip to content »

Structural and Computational Biology and Molecular Biophysics

Houston, Texas

A BCM research lab.
Structural and Computational Biology & Molecular Biophysics
not shown on screen

Susan Hamilton, Ph.D.

Susan Hamilton, Ph.D.L.F. McCollum Chair, Molecular Physiology

Professor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

Baylor College of Medicine


B.S. Chemistry, Indiana University (1971)
Ph.D. Biophysics, University of Colorado Medical Center (1976)

Research Interests:

Depolarization of skeletal muscle fibers induces the release of Ca2+from intracellular stores. The process whereby the change in membrane potential of the transverse tubule membranes triggers the opening of calcium channelsin the intracellular sarcoplasmic reticulum membranes is designated excitation-contractioncoupling. The research goal of my laboratory is to define the molecularevents involved in this process. Our approach is to characterize biochemically,pharmacologically, electrophysiologically and structurally the proteinsinvolved in this process. The two proteins which we study are the transversetubular dihydropyridine binding protein (which is the voltage sensor and/ora voltage dependent Ca2+ channel) and the sarcoplasmic reticulumryanodine binding protein (which is also a Ca2+ channel). Experimentallywe analyze the ligand binding properties of these proteins, we purify themand study their subunit structure and their interactions with other skeletalmuscle proteins, examine their ability to function as ion channels by reconstitutioninto planar lipid bilayers, and analyze their structure by electron cryomicroscopyand angular reconstitution.

Selected Publications:

  • Lanner JT, Georgiou DK, Dagnino-Acosta A, Ainbinder A, Cheng Q, Joshi AD, Chen Z, Yarotskyy V, Oakes JM, Lee CS, Monroe TO, Santillan A, Dong K, Goodyear L, Ismailov II, Rodney GG, Dirksen RT and Hamilton SL. AICAR prevents heat-induced sudden death in RyR1 mutant mice independent of AMPK activation. Nat Med, 18(2):244-51 (2012). PubMed
  • Lanner JT, Georgiou DK, Joshi AD and Hamilton SL. Ryanodine receptors: structure, expression, molecular details, and function in calcium release. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol, 2(11):a003996 (2010). PubMed
  • Halling DB, Georgiou DK, Black DJ, Yang G, Fallon JL, Quiocho FA, Pedersen SE and Hamilton SL. Determinants in CaV1 channels that regulate the Ca2+ sensitivity of bound calmodulin. J Biol Chem, 284(30):20041-51 (2009). PubMed
  • Fallon JL, Baker MR, Xiong L, Loy RE, Yang G, Dirksen RT, Hamilton SL and Quiocho FA. Crystal structure of dimeric cardiac L-type calcium channel regulatory domains bridged by Ca2+* calmodulins. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 106(13):5135-40 (2009). PubMed
  • Hoeffer CA, Tang W, Wong H, Santillan A, Patterson RJ, Martinez LA, Tejada-Simon MV, Paylor R, Hamilton SL and Klann E. Removal of FKBP12 enhances mTOR-Raptor interactions, LTP, memory, and perseverative/repetitive behavior. Neuron, 60(5):832-45 (2008). PubMed
  • Hamilton SL and Serysheva II. Ryanodine receptor structure: progress and challenges. J Biol Chem, 284(7):4047-51 (2009). PubMed
  • Serysheva II, Ludtke SJ, Baker ML, Cong Y, Topf M, Eramian D, Sali A, Hamilton SL and Chiu W. Subnanometer-resolution electron cryomicroscopy-based domain models for the cytoplasmic region of skeletal muscle RyR channel. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 105(28):9610-5 (2008). PubMed

For more publications, see listing on PubMed.

Contact Information:

Department: Molecular Physiology and Biophysics
Address: Baylor College of Medicine
One Baylor Plaza
Room 410B
Phone: 713-798-5704
Fax: 713-798-5441
Additional Links: Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

E-mail this page to a friend