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School of Medicine Columbia

Faculty and Staff

Janet Fisher, Ph.D.

Title: Associate Professor of Pharmacology, Physiology & Neuroscience
Department: Pharmacology, Physiology & Neuroscience
School of Medicine Columbia
Phone: 803-216-3506
Fax: 803-216-3538

Pharmacology, Physiology & Neuroscience
Basic Science Bldg 1, Rm D-31

janet fisher portrait


Postdoctoral: Univ Michigan & Baylor College of Medicine
Ph.D: University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill
M.S.: North Carolina State University

Research Focus

My lab studies the functional properties of ligand-gated ion channels, focusing on GABAA and kainate receptors.  These channels are receptors for glutamate and GABA, which are the primary excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitters in the brain.  We study the activity of the receptors by measuring the electrical current that passes through their open channels.   The GABAA receptors are responsible for fast inhibitory neurotransmission, and are targets for many common drugs used to treat anxiety, insomnia, and epilepsy.  We are interested in learning how changes in the structure of these receptors can affect their function and pharmacology.  We also study the kainate type of glutamate receptors.  These receptors can play a critical role in the development of epilepsy.  Our work focuses on the distinct functional properties associated with different subunits of the kainate receptors.


  • Pathak G, Agostino MJ, Bishara K, Capell WR, Fisher JL, Hegde S, Ibrahim BA, Pilarzyk K, Sabin C, Tuczkewycz T, Wilson S, Kelly MP (in press) PDE11A negatively regulates lithium responsivity. Molecular Psychiatry, in press.\
  • Lewter LA, Fisher JL, Siemian JN, Methuku KR, Poe MM, Cook JM, Li JX (2017) Anti-nociceptive effects of a novel a2/a3-subtype selective GABAA receptor positive allosteric modulator. ACS Chemical Neuroscience, 8:1305-1312.
  • Fisher JL (2015) The auxiliary subunits Neto1 and Neto2 have distinct, subunit-dependent effects at recombinant GluK1- and GluK2-containing kainate receptors. Neuropharmacology, 99:471-480.
  • Fisher JL (2014) The neurotoxin domoate causes long-lasting inhibition of the kainate receptor GluK5 subunit. Neuropharmacology, 85:9-17.
  • Fisher MT, Fisher JL (2014) Contributions of different kainate receptor subunits to the properties of recombinant homomeric and heteromeric receptors. Neuroscience, 278:70-80.
  • Fisher JL, Mott DD (2013) Modulation of homomeric and heteromeric kainate receptors by the auxiliary subunit Neto1. Journal of Physiology, 591: 4711-4724.
  • Heidelberg LS, Warren JW, Fisher JL (2013) SB-205384 is a positive allosteric modulator of recombinant GABAA receptors containing rat α3, α5 or α6 subunit subtypes co-expressed with b3 and g2 subunits, Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics,347:235-241.
  • Fisher JL, Housley PR (2013) Agonist binding to the GluK5 subunit is sufficient for functional surface expression of heteromeric GluK2/GluK5 kainate receptors. Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology, 33:1099-1108.
  • Alexeev M, Grosenbaugh DK, Mott DD, Fisher JL (2012) The natural products magnolol and honokiol are positive allosteric modulators of both synaptic and extra-synaptic GABAA receptors. Neuropharmacology 62:2507-2514.
  • Fisher JL, Mott DD (2012) The auxiliary subunits Neto1 and Neto2 reduce voltage-dependent inhibition of recombinant kainate receptors. Journal of Neuroscience, 32:12928-12933.
  • Fisher JL, Mott DD (2011) Distinct functional roles of subunits within the heteromeric kainate receptor. Journal of Neuroscience, 31:17113-17122.

Find Dr. Fisher on Pubmed.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.