Prof Nikita Gamper

Prof Nikita Gamper


1995 - 1998; PhD in Physiology, Sechenov Institute of Evolutionary Physiology and Biochemistry, St Petersburg, Russia.

1999 - 2001; Postdoctral Fellow, Tuebingen University, Germany.

2001 - 2005; Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, USA

2005 - present; Lecturer/Associate Professor/Professor, University of Leeds

2011 - present; Adjunct Professor of Pharmacology, Hebei Medical University, Shijiazhuang, China 


  • Head of the Neuroscience Research Group

Research interests

Separation of electrical charges on the plasma membrane of the cell achieved by the complex balance of activities of different ion channels, transporters and pumps is a fundamental principle of life form organization. Dysfunctions of ion channels or their regulation causes a number of human diseases ranging from epilepsy to sudden cardiac death.

We study function and regulation of ion channels and, in larger perspective, regulation of cellular excitability. Particular focus of the group is the regulation of excitability of peripheral pain-sensing (nociceptive) neurones in relation to pain signalling. We investigate the regulation of ion channels that control or influence excitability and synaptic transmission of nociceptors e.g. GABAA, KCNQ (M-type) channels, Ca2+-activated Cl- channels, sensory TRP channels and voltage-gated Ca2+ channels).

Our group is also interested in the modulation of different neuronal ion channels by G protein coupled receptors (GPSRs) and in GPCR signalling networks of sensory neurones. One of the latest projects is aimed at the investigation of the transcriptional regulation of neuronal K+ channels in chronic pain states.

We use a wide range of the cutting-edge methods and techniques which allow us to follow our research questions from the level of individual molecules and up to the whole-organism level. Thus we use biochemical and molecular biological approaches to study individual proteins and genes; we use electrophysiology (patch-clamp and voltage clamp) and bioimaging methods (including live confocal and TIRF microscopy) to study individual cells and, finally, we use various behavioural approaches to probe neuronal signalling in vivo.


  • Dr Shihab Shah, postdoctoral research assistant
  • Dr Stephen Milne, research technician
  • Alexandra Hogea, PhD student
  • Rosmaliza Ramli, PhD student
  • Eleni Kyriakopoulou, PhD student
  • Yuan-Ming Tsai, PhD student
  • Frederick Jones, PhD student

Current and recent funding: 

MRC, BBSRC, Wellcome Trust

Industrial partners:

Eli Lilly

Key recent publications:

  • Gao, H., Boillat, A., Huang, D., Liang, C., Peers, C., Gamper, N. (2017) Intracellular zinc activates KCNQ channels by reducing their dependence on phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 114:E6410-E6419
  • Berrout, J., Kyriakopoulou, E., Moparthi, L., Hogea, A.S., Berrout, L., Ivan, C., Lorger, M., Boyle, J., Peers, C., Muench, S., Gomez, J.E., Hu, X., Hurst, C., Hall, T., Umamaheswaran, S., Wesley, L., Gagea, M., Shires, M., Manfield, I., Knowles, M.A., Davies, S., Suhling, K., Gonzalez, Y.T., Carragher, N., Macleod, K., Abbott, N.J., Calin, G.A., Gamper, N., Zygmunt, P.M., Timsah, Z. (2017) TRPA1-FGFR2 binding event is a regulatory oncogenic driver modulated by miRNA-142-3p. Nat Commun. 8:947. 
  • Du, X., Hao, H., Yang, Y., Huang, S., Wang, C., Gigout, S., Ramli, R., Li, X., Jaworska, E., Edwards, I., Deuchars, J., Yanagawa, Y., Qi, J., Guan, B., Jaffe, D.B., Zhang, H., Gamper, N. (2017) Local GABAergic signaling within sensory ganglia controls peripheral nociceptive transmission. J Clin Invest. 127:1741-1756.
  • Huang, D., Huang, S., Gao, H., Liu, Y., Qi, J., Chen, P., Wang, C., Scragg, J.L., Vakurov, A., Peers, C., Du, X., Zhang, H., Gamper, N. (2016) Redox-dependent modulation of t-type Ca2+ channels in sensory neurons contributes to acute anti-nociceptive effect of substance P. Antioxid Redox Signal. 25:233-51.
  • Du, X., Hao, H., Gigout, S., Huang, D., Yang, Y., Li, L., Wang, C., Sundt, D., Jaffe, D.B., Zhang, H., Gamper, N. (2014) Control of Somatic Membrane Potential in Nociceptive Neurons and its Implications for Peripheral Nociceptive Transmission. PAIN 155:2306-22.
  • Jin, X., Shah, S., Liu, Y., Zhang, H., Lees, M., Fu, Z., Lippiat, J.D., Beech, D.J., Sivaprasadarao, A., Baldwin, S.A., Zhang, H., Gamper, N. (2013) Activation of the Cl- Channel ANO1 by Localized Calcium Signals in Nociceptive Sensory Neurons Requires Coupling with the IP3 Receptor. Science Signaling. 6(290):ra73.
  • Pettinger, L., Gigout, S., Linley, J.E., Gamper, N. (2013) Bradykinin controls pool size of sensory neurons expressing functional δ-opioid receptors. J Neurosci  33:10762-71.
  • Ooi, L., Gigout, S., Pettinger, L., Gamper, N. (2013) Triple cysteine module within M-type K+ channels mediates reciprocal channel modulation by nitric oxide and reactive oxygen species. J Neurosci 33:6041-6.
  • Linley, J.E., Ooi, L., Pettinger, L., Kirton, H., Boyle, J.P., Peers, C., Gamper, N. (2012) Reactive oxygen species are second messengers of neurokinin signaling in peripheral sensory neurons. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 109, E1578-86.
  • Rose, K. Ooi, L., Dalle, C., Robertson, B., Wood, I.C., Gamper, N. (2011) Transcriptional repression of the M channel subunit Kv7.2 in chronic nerve injury. PAIN 152,742-54.
  • Mucha, M., Ooi, L., Linley, J., Mordaka, P., Dalle, C., Robertson, B., Gamper, N., Wood, I. (2010) Transcriptional control of KCNQ channel genes and the regulation of neuronal excitability. J Neurosci 30, 13235-45.
  • Liu, B., Linley, J.E., Du, X., Zhang, X., Ooi, L., Zhang, H., Gamper, N. (2010) The Acute Nociceptive Signals Induced by Bradykinin in Rat Sensory Neurons are mediated by inhibition of M-type K+ channels and activation of Ca2+-activated Cl- channels. J Clin Invest 120, 1240-52.
  • Milligan, C.J., Li, J., Sukumar, P., Majeed, Y., Dallas, M.L., English, A., Emery, P., Porter, K.E., Smith, A.M., McFadzean, I.,  Beccano-Kelly, D., Bahnasi, Y., Cheong, A., Naylor, J., Zeng, F., Liu, X., Gamper, N., Jiang, L.-H., Pearson, H.A., Peers, C., Robertson, B., Beech, D.J. (2009).  Robotic multi-well planar patch-clamp for native and primary mammalian cells. Nature Protocols 4, 244-55.
  • Linley, J.E., Rose, K., Patyl, M., Robertson, B., Akopian, A.N., Gamper, N. (2008) Inhibition of M Current in Sensory Neurons by Exogenous Proteases: a Signalling Pathway Mediating Inflammatory Nociception. J Neurosci 28, 11240-11249.
  • Gamper, N., Shapiro, M.S. (2007). Regulation of ion transport proteins by membrane phosphoinositides. Nat Rev Neurosci 8:921-934.
  • Gamper, N., Zaika, O., Li, Y., Martin, P., Hernandez, C.C., Perez, M.R., Wang, A.Y., Jaffe, D.B., Shapiro, M.S. (2006) Oxidative modification of M-type K+ channels as a mechanism of cytoprotective neuronal silencing. EMBO J 25, 4996-5004.
  • Patwardhan, A.M., Jeske, N.A., Price, T.J., Gamper, N., Akopian, A.N., Hargreaves, K.M. (2006) The cannabinoid WIN 55,212-2 inhibits transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) and evokes peripheral antihyperalgesia via calcineurin. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 103, 11393-8.
<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • MSc, 1995, St Petersburg
  • PhD 1998, St Petersburg

Student education

Postgraduate studentship areas:

  • Strong candidates willing to do a PHD in the area of neuronal ion channel regulation are encouraged to apply

See also:

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>