Dr. Heppner received his B.A. from Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, Minnesota, and in 1986 received his Ph.D. in Toxicology and Neurobiology from Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa. His postdoctoral work was in the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology at the University of Vermont and joined the faculty in the Department of Pharmacology in 1993 as a Research Associate.
Dr. Heppner’s research is focused on the role played by ion channels in modulating the activity of smooth muscle from the urinary bladder and coronary arteries. These studies are concerned primarily with potassium and calcium ion channels and examine: 1) how these channels are regulated, and 2) the role played by these channels in controlling membrane excitability. A wide variety of electrophysiological techniques and calcium imaging techniques are used to measure ion channel activity in cell cultures, acutely dissociated cells and in intact tissue preparations. In addition, Dr. Heppner is interested in mechanisms underlying the potentiation of synaptic transmission in the autonomic nervous system.
2005 Heppner TJ, Bonev AD, Nelson MT. Elementary purinergic Ca2+ transients evoked by nerve stimulation in rat urinary bladder smooth muscle. J Physiol, 2005.
2004 Heppner TJ, Bonev AD, Eckman DM, Gomez MF, Petkov GV, Nelson MT. Novel PPARgamma agonists GI 262570, GW 7845, GW 1929, and pioglitazone decrease calcium channel function and myogenic tone in rat mesenteric arteries. Pharmacology. 73(1):15-22, 2005.2004 Etherton B, Heppner TJ, Cumming JR, Nelson MT. Opposing effects of aluminum on inward-rectifier potassium currents in bean root-tip protoplasts. J Membr Biol. 198(1):15-22, 2004.
2003 Heppner TJ, Herrera GM, Bonev AD, Hill-Eubanks D, Nelson MT. Ca2+ sparks and K(Ca) channels: novel mechanisms to relax urinary bladder smooth muscle. Adv Exp Med Biol. 539(Pt A):347-57, 2003. 2003 Heppner TJ, Fiekers JF. Long-term potentiation of nicotinic synaptic transmission in rat superior cervical ganglia produced by phorbol ester and tetanic stimulation. Auton Neurosci. 105(1):35-44, 2003.
For a complete list of Thomas J. Heppner's publications, please visit PubMed.