ION Channel Program > Advisors

Hydra's Ion Channel Advisors
These advisors provide cutting-edge scientific expertise:

David E. Clapham, M.D., Ph.D. Scientific Co-founder, Hydra Biosciences
Professor of Cardiology, Children's Hospital Boston
Professor of Neurobiology, Harvard Medical School

David Clapham is a leader in cell signal transduction, with particular expertise in ion channels and G protein-coupled receptors. As the Aldo R. Casteñada Professor of Cardiovascular Research at Children's Hospital of Boston, he is the hospital's director of Cardiovascular Research. He is also a professor of Neurobiology at Harvard Medical School, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences. Early in his career, David established his independent research laboratory in the Department of Medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital of Harvard Medical School. He earned an M.D. and Ph.D. in Anatomy/Cell Biology from Emory University School of Medicine and an Electrical Engineering degree at the Georgia Institute of Technology. David was a senior Fulbright Fellow during his postdoctoral training with Erwin Neher at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen, Germany. Dr. Neher is the co-inventor (with B. Sakmann) of the patch clamp technique for which he won a Nobel Prize.

Mark T. Keating, M.D. Scientific Co-Founder, Hydra Biosciences
Vice President and Global Head of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Diseases, Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research
Adjunct Professor of Cardiology, Children's Hospital Boston
Adjunct Professor of Cell Biology, Harvard Medical School

Mark Keating is a leader in the fields of regenerative biology medicine. He is Global head of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Diseases at the Novartis Institute of BioMedical Research, adjunct professor of Cell Biology at Harvard Medical School, and adjunct professor of Cardiology at Children's Hospital of Boston. In 1989, Dr. Keating established his independent research laboratory in the department of Human Genetics at the University of Utah, the pioneer institution in human molecular genetics and mouse knockout technology, where his work initially focused on the human molecular genetics of cardiovascular disease and later extended to mechanisms of tissue and organ regeneration. He has received numerous awards for his laboratory's internationally recognized work in cardiovascular research including the 2005 Bristol-Myers Squib award for distinguished achievement in cardiovascular disease. Dr. Keating joined Novartis Institutes of BioMedical Research in 2005, founding the Department of Ophthalmology. His group created a pipeline to prevent and treat retinal diseases, including drug candidates that are now achieving success in phase III clinical trials. In 2009, Dr. Keating integrated and rebuilt the Cardiovascular and Metabolic Diseases Departments (CVM) at Novartis, shaping and creating an innovative pipeline aimed at diabetes, arrhythmia, atherosclerosis, and heart failure, including LCZ696, for which an NDA has been filed. He is a member of National Academy of Sciences. He earned his M.D. from The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and his bachelor's degree from Princeton University.

Bruce Bean, Ph.D. Professor of Neurobiology, Harvard Medical School

Dr. Bean received his Ph.D. in Biophysics from the University of Rochester in 1979, did post-doctoral work with Richard W. Tsien at Yale University, and has had faculty appointments at the University of Iowa, the Vollum Institute at Oregon Health Sciences University, and Harvard Medical School, where he is currently Professor of Neurobiology. His work is in the physiology and pharmacology of ion channels in heart and brain. His current work includes studies on TRP channels and voltage-dependent sodium, potassium, and calcium channels in the context of pain and epilepsy.


biopicli Joseph E. Brayden, Ph.D. Professor, Department of Pharmacology, University of Vermont School of Medicine



biopicli Sven-Eric Jordt, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Department of Anesthesiology, Duke University School of Medicine

Sven-Eric Jordt is Associate Professor in the Department of Anesthesiology at Duke University School of Medicine. His research focuses on TRP ion channels in peripheral sensory neurons and their functions in pain, inflammation, allergies and respiratory health. He identified TRPA1 as a major receptor for chemical irritants and a transducer of inflammation in asthma and other inflammatory conditions. Dr. Jordt holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the Free University Berlin, Germany. Following postdoctoral training at UCSF, Dr. Jordt established his independent laboratory in the Department of Pharmacology at Yale School of Medicine. In 2014 Dr. Jordt relocated his laboratory to Duke University. Dr. Jordt is the recipient of the 2006 Outstanding New Environmental Scientist Award (ONES) from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), the Early Excellence Award from the Sandler Foundation for Asthma Research and the 2007 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.

David Julius, Ph.D. Professor, Department of Cellular & Molecular Pharmacology University of California, San Francisco

David Julius is currently a Professor in the Department of Cellular & Molecular Pharmacology at the University of California, San Francisco. He is interested in the molecular biology of sensory transduction and neurotransmitter action in the mammalian nervous system. One of his goals is to understand the molecular basis of somatosensation - the process whereby we experience touch and temperature - with an emphasis on identifying molecules that detect noxious (pain-producing) stimuli. He is also interested in understanding how somatosensation is altered in response to tissue or nerve injury. David received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of California, Berkeley, and his bachelor's degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Mark Nelson, Ph.D. Professor and Chairman, Department of Pharmacology, University of Vermont College of Medicine

Dr. Nelson is professor and chair of the Department of Pharmacology at University of Vermont, College of Medicine, where his lab is studying the control of smooth muscle cell function by the cell membrane. He is interested in examining the properties of calcium and potassium channels and ryanodine-sensitive calcium release channels. Calcium and potassium channels are the sites of action of several types of drugs that are used to treat cardiovascular disorders such as hypertension and angina. To understand the mechanism of action of these important drugs, the effects of these agents on calcium and potassium channel behavior are being investigated. Dr. Nelson is studying a combined approach utilizing single cell isolation, single channel and macroscopic recording techniques, intracellular calcium and calcium spark measurements using conventional fluorescent imaging techniques, laser scanning, and confocal microscopy, diameter and membrane potential measurements in intact pressurized arteries, and expression of ion channels. Dr. Nelson received his Ph.D. in Neural Sciences from Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri.

Michael Sanguinetti, Ph.D. Professor of Physiology, University of Utah

Michael Sanguinetti is currently a Professor of Physiology at the University of Utah, focusing on cardiac arrhythmias. Cardiac repolarization is dependent on activation of a surprisingly large number of potassium channels. Mutations in the genes encoding many of these channels cause inherited forms of cardiac arrhythmia. He uses site-directed mutagenesis of cloned channels and voltage clamp techniques to study the molecular basis of potassium channel dysfunction in these human disorders. In addition, he is exploring the molecular mechanisms that cause delayed rectifier and pacemaker channels to open and close in response to changes in transmembrane voltage. Dr. Sanguinetti received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Davis, and his bachelor's degree from Humboldt State University.

Clifford J. Woolf, M.D., Ph.D. Director, F.M. Kirby Neurobiology Center and Program in Neurobiology, Boston Children's Hospital
Professor of Neurology and Neurobiology, Harvard Medical School

Clifford Woolf, MB, BCh, PhD was appointed Director of the F.M. Kirby Neurobiology Center and the Program in Neurobiology at Children's Hospital Boston in February 2010. He is also a professor of Neurology and Neurobiology at Harvard Medical School. After training for his MD and PhD at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg South Africa, Dr. Woolf moved to England in 1979. He worked at University College London for close on 20 years, towards the latter part as a Professor of Neurobiology. In 1997, Dr. Woolf moved to Boston as the first incumbent of the Richard J Kitz Chair of Anesthesia Research at Harvard Medical School and established the Neural Plasticity Research Group, based in the Department of Anesthesia and Critical Care at the Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr Woolf is a faculty member of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute and of the Department of Neurobiology and the Program in Immunology at Harvard Medical School.