University of Vermont

College of Medicine

Department of Neurological Sciences

Bio for John Tompkins
John Tompkins

John Tompkins

Research Associate
Department of Neurological Sciences

Contact Information
Office Location:
Neurological Sciences, Given D 408, Burlington, VT


Ph.D.: East Tennessee State  University, 2002
Postdoctoral Training: University of Vermont, 2003-2008

Academic Interests

As a research track faculty member, my effort is devoted essentially full-time to research activities.  However, I do give a few lectures on ATP as a neurotransmitter in the graduate student Neurochemistry Course.

Research Interests

The primary emphasis of my research program is to elucidate the autonomic regulation of visceral function under control and disease states.  Currently, I am studying the role of autonomic neuropathy in the genesis of loss of bladder function in diabetic mice.  Mouse models of type 1 and type 2 diabetes are being used to investigate underlying causes of diabetic cystopathy. Multiple approaches are used including: 1) bladder function testing in conscious mice,  2) intracellular microelectrode recordings from neurons in major pelvic ganglia whole mount preparations, 3) extracellular stimulation of preganglionic nerves to quantify synaptic strength at retrogradedly labeled neurons, 4) semi-quantative analysis of neuropeptide localization and expression using immunohistochemistry and widefield/confocal imaging, and 5) determination of ganglion ultrastructure with transmission electron microscopy.

Academic Appointments

College of Medicine Faculty Appointment: July 10, 2008