Department of Molecular Medicine
College of Veterinary Medicine
Ithaca, New York 14853
Office: (607) 253-3877
Lab: (607) 253-3879
Fax: (607) 253-3659
Research in our laboratory focuses on the structure and function of neurotransmitter receptors, in particular glutamate receptors. These receptors are the primary excitatory neurotransmitter receptors in the central nervous system and are implicated in the molecular basis of learning and memory as well as a variety of neurological disorders. The laboratory uses a variety of methods including NMR spectroscopy, X-ray crystallography, small-angle X-ray scattering, isothermal titration calorimetry, and electrophysiology to study the biophysics of drug binding. These multiple approaches provide a view of the binding site that includes both the structure and dynamics. This provides more detailed information for further drug development and understanding of the mechanism channel activation. Ongoing collaborative projects include work on protein recognition factors in leptospirosis, and experimental drugs for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.
- Ph.D. - 1979 Biochemistry, Vanderbilt University
- M.A. - 1975 Psychology, University of Alabama
- B.S. - 1974 Chemistry, University of Alabama
- 1998-present Professor , Department of Molecular Medicine, Cornell University
- 1994-1995 Visiting Professor, Biological Chemistry, Molecular Pharmacology, Harvard Medical School
- 1993-1998 Professor, Department of Pharmacology, Cornell University
- 1988-1989 Visiting Professor,
Inorganic Chemistry Lab, University of Oxford
- 1987-1993 Associate Professor, Department of Pharmacology, Cornell University
- 1981-1987 Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacology, Cornell University
Predoctoral Fellow, NIMH & NIH, Department of Biochemistry, Vanderbilt University
Honors and Awards
- 1994-1995 Guggenheim
Fellowship, Cornell University/Harvard University
Fulbright Fellowship, University of Oxford
- 1982-1984 Alfred P. Sloan Fellow, Cornell University
- 1975-1979 Harold S. Vanderbilt Scholar, Vanderbilt University
Professional Society Memberships
- Biophysical Society
- American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
- 2012 American Heart Association Reviewer, Basic Cell PC1
- 2012-present Special Edition Editor, New Solutions: A Journal of Environmental and Occupational Health Policy
- 2008-present Editorial Board, Journal of Biological Chemistry
- 2005-present Editorial Board, Molecular Pharmacology
- 2006-2009 National Institutes of Health Study Section, Biophysics of Neural Systems
- 2005-2006 National Institutes of Health Study Section, Biophysics of Synapses, Channels, and Transporters
- 2000-2005 Editorial Board, Journal of Biological Chemistry
- Ahmed, A.H., Ptak, C.P., Fenwick, M.K., Hsieh, C.-L., Weiland, G.A., & Oswald, R.E. (2013) Dynamics of cleft closure of the GluA2 ligand binding domain in the presence of full and partial agonists revealed by hydrogen-deuterium exchange. J. Biol. Chem. DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M113.495564.
- Ahmed, A.H., Hamada, M., Shinada, T., Ohfune, Y. Weerasinghe, L., Garner, P.P., and Oswald, R.E. (2012) The structure of (-)-kaitocephalin bound to the ligand binding domain of the AMPA/glutamate receptor, GluA2. J. Biol. Chem. 287:41007-41013.
- Ahmed, A.H., Wang, S., Chuang, H.H., and Oswald, R.E. (2011) Mechanism of AMPA receptor activation by partial agonists: Disulfide trapping of closed lobe conformations. J. Biol. Chem. 286:35257-35266.
- Fenwick, M.K., and Oswald, R.E. (2010) On the mechanisms of alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazole-4-propionic acid (AMPA) receptor binding to glutamate and kainate. J. Biol. Chem. 285:12334-12343.
- Ahmed, A.H., Thompson, M.D., Fenwick, M.K., Romero, B., Loh, A.P., Jane, D.E., Sondermann, H., and Oswald, R.E. (2009) Mechanism of antagonism of the GluR2 AMPA receptor: Structure and dynamics of the complex of two willardiine antagonists with the glutamate binding domain. Biochemistry 48:3894-3903.
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