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Heidi Hamm

Professor, Pharmacology
Aileen M. Lange and Annie Mary Lyle Chair, Cardiovascular Research
Professor, Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences
Professor, Orthopedic Surgery and Rehabilitation

Heidi E. Hamm, Ph.D. is the Aileen M. Lange and Annie Mary Lyle Chair in Cardiovascular Research, and Professor of Pharmacology, Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, and Orthopedics at Vanderbilt University.  This is one of the top Pharmacology departments in the country, judged by reputation, citation analysis, and NIH funding.  She oversaw an increase of the size of the Department, as well as a quintupling of its NIH funding, in her 14 years as Chair.  The Department’s strengths lie in GPCR signal transduction and neuroscience, and she has expanded it in the areas of drug discovery and structural biology of membrane proteins.  Her research focuses on the structure and function of GTP binding proteins and the molecular mechanisms of signal transduction.  G protein-mediated signaling cascades are key regulators of many physiological processes, including processes of development, differentiation, and regulation of cell division. In the brain, many key neurotransmitters and neuromodulators mediate a myriad of functions by activation of such G protein cascades. Her laboratory has been involved in studying G protein coupled signal transduction for many years.  Current areas of interest include Protease Activated Receptor signaling in the cardiovascular system and regulation of vesicular exocytosis mediated by Gi/o-coupled presynaptic receptors by Gbg subunit binding to SNAREs.


Dr. Hamm obtained her Ph.D. in 1980 from the Department of Zoology at the University of Texas-Austin and did postdoctoral training in the University of Wisconsin-Madison from 1980-1983. Her initial research centered around circadian clocks and melatonin synthesis in the avian retina; her postdoctoral work investigated the role of the G protein transducin in visual transduction using blocking monoclonal antibodies. She held faculty appointments at the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Medicine and Northwestern University before moving to Vanderbilt in 2000.

Postdoc Fellow, University of Wisconsin – Madison
Ph.D., University of Texas, Austin
B.A., Atlantic Union College