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Lonnie P. Wollmuth

PhD, University of Washington


Phone: (631) 632-4186
Fax: (631) 632-6661

Centers for Molecular Medicine
Office: Room 340
Lab: Room 375

*Visit the Wollmuth website*




Lonnie Wollmuth attended Portland State University and received a B.A. degree in 1983 and an M.S. degree in 1988. In 1992 he earned a Ph.D. in Physiology and Biophysics from the University of Washington, Seattle working under Dr. Bertil Hille. From 1993 to 1998, Dr. Wollmuth was a Senior Fellow in the Division of Cell Physiology at the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research working with Professor Dr. Bert Sakmann and was a Human Frontier Science Program Fellow from 1993-1995 and an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow from 1996-1997. In 1998, Dr. Wollmuth joined the faculty in the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior at the State University of New York at Stony Brook as an Assistant Professor. In 1999-2002 he received an Alexandrine and Alexander Sinsheimer Scholars Award. He was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 2003 and Full Professor in 2009. He has served as Director of the Graduate Program in Neuroscience at Stony Brook since 2006. Professor Wollmuth is a member of the Center for Nervous System Disorders at Stony Brook University and is a member of the Society for Neuroscience and the Biophysical Society.

Research Interests/Expertise

Research in my laboratory addresses fundamental mechanisms underlying fast synaptic transmission in the brain, focusing specifically on those synapses that use glutamate as a neurotransmitter. Synapses are specialized structures that control the flow of information between cells in the brain. Since glutamate is the major excitatory neurotransmitter in the human brain, synapses that use it, so-called glutamatergic synapses, are fundamental to brain function. Indeed, alterations in the properties of glutamatergic synapses underlie changes in brain function including those associated with learning and memory and contribute when dysfunctional to numerous neurodegenerative and psychiatric diseases. 

Glutamate receptors are ligand-gated ion channels that convert the chemical signal glutamate into an electrical and biochemical signal detected by the postsynaptic neuron. These receptors, notably the NMDA, AMPA, and kainate receptor subtypes, display a variety of molecular and biophysical properties that contribute to their versatility and prominence in fast synaptic transmission. We are interested in the molecular, biophysical and physiological mechanisms of glutamate receptor function. This work extends from understanding molecular structures of glutamate receptors and associated proteins to how the dynamics of glutamatergic synapses contribute to networks of interconnected neurons. Our systems work focuses on mechanisms regulating synaptic plasticity in layers 2/3 of the visual cortex. Since we want to understand the details, our approach is molecular and cellular in orientation and highly quantitative.


  • Publications
  • Honors, Awards & Leadership
  • Laboratory Personnel
    • Salussolia, CL.* A. Corrales*, I Talukder, R. Kazi, G. Akgul. M. Bowen, and L.P. Wollmuth (2011) Interaction of the M4 segment with other transmembrane segments is required for surface expression of mammalian AMPA receptors, Journal of Biological Chemistry. 286:40205-40218 *Authors contributed equally.
    • Taluker, I*, R. Kazi*, and L.P. Wollmuth (2011) GluN1-specific redox effects on the kinetic mechanism of NMDA recepteor activation. Biophysical Journal. 101: 2389-2398. *Authors contributed Equally
    • Salussolia, C. L., M. Prodromou, P. Borker, L. P. Wollmuth. (2011) Arrangement of subunits in functional NMDA receptors. Journal of Neuroscience. 31:11295-11304. [pdf]
    • Taluker, I. and L. P. Wollmuth. (2011) Local constraints in either the GluN1 or GluN2 subunit equally impair NMDA receptor pore opening. Journal of General Physiology. 138:179-194. [pdf]
    • Akgul, G. and L. P. Wollmuth. (2010) Expression pattern of MAGUKs in interneurons of the visual cortex. The Journal of Comparative Neurology. 518:4842-4854. [pdf]
    • Wollmuth, L. P. and S. F. Traynelis (2009) Excitatory view of a receptor. Nature (News & Views). 462: 729-731. [pdf]
    • Traynelis, S. F., L. P. Wollmuth, C. J. McBain, F. S. Menniti, K. M. Vance, K. K. Ogden, K. B. Hansen, H. Yuan, S. J. Myers, and R. Dingledine. (2010) Glutamate receptor ion channels: structure, regulation, and function. Pharmacological Reviews. 62:405-96. [pdf]
    • Taluker, I., P. Borker, and L. P. Wollmuth. (2010) Specific sites within the ligand-binding domain and ion channel linkers modulate NMDA receptor gating. Journal of Neuroscience. 30:11792-11804. [pdf]
    • Prieto, M. and L. P. Wollmuth. (2010) Gating modes in AMPA receptors. Journal of Neuroscience. 30:4449-4459. [pdf]
    • Sobolevsky, A. I., M. Prodromou, M. Yelshansky, and L. P. Wollmuth. (2007) Subunit-specific contribution of pore-forming domains to NMDA receptor channel structure and gating. Journal of General Physiology. 129:509-525. [pdf]
    • Watanabe, J., A. Rozov, and L. P. Wollmuth. (2005) Target-specific regulation of synaptic amplitudes in the neocortex. Journal of Neuroscience. 25:1024-1033. [pdf]
    • Wollmuth, L. P. and A. I. Sobolevsky (2004) Structure and Gating of the Glutamate Receptor Ion Channel. Trends in Neuroscience. Invited Review. 27: 321-328. [pdf]
  • Director, Graduate Program in Neuroscience, Stony Brook University (2006-2010)
  • Study Section Member (2004-2006), NIH, Biophysics of Channels, Synapses, and Transporters (BCST)
  • Study Section Member (2006-2008), NIH, Biophysics of Neural Systems (BPNS
  • Gulcan Agkul - Graduate Student
  • Rafael Camilo Ferrer - Graduate Student
  • Quan 'Alfred' Gan - Graduate Student