Lori L. Isom, Ph.D., has joined the Board of Directors of the American Epilepsy Society, a medical and scientific society with 4,400 members. Dr. Isom began her term at the end of the society's recent annual meeting in New Orleans.
Dr. Isom is the Maurice H. Seevers Professor and Chair of the Department of Pharmacology, Professor of Molecular and Integrative Physiology, and Professor of Neurology at the University of Michigan Medical School. Prior to becoming Chair of Pharmacology, she served as Director of the Program in Biomedical Sciences and Assistant Dean for Graduate Education in the University of Michigan Medical School.
Dr. Isom specializes in Neuroscience and Cardiac Biology. Her postdoctoral research includes the first cloning, sequencing, and expression of voltage-gated sodium channel SCN1B and SCN2B, encoding b1 and b2 subunits, respectively. Her laboratory at the University of Michigan focuses on voltage-gated sodium channel structure, function, and role in developmental and epileptic encephalopathies, including Dravet syndrome with SUDEP. They employ a variety of techniques, including cellular and molecular biology, transgenic mouse models, human induced pluripotent stem cells, and electrophysiology.
Highlights of Dr. Isom's research program include the discovery that sodium channel b subunits, in addition to functioning as ion channel modulators, are multi-functional cell adhesion molecules of the immunoglobulin superfamily that regulate neuronal migration, pathfinding, and fasciculation.
In addition to her research activities, Dr. Isom serves as PI of a NIH-funded T32 predoctoral training grant, co-chairs the Dravet Syndrome Foundation Scientific Advisory Board, serves as a permanent NIH study section member, serves on editorial boards of scientific journals, and has received awards for research and mentoring, including a recent NINDS Javits R37 MERIT award and the University of Michigan Rackham Distinguished Graduate Mentoring Award. In 2011, she was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science for her work in Neuroscience and Graduate Education.
With the AES, Dr. Isom currently serves as a Contributing Editor-Basic for Epilepsy Currents. She also has served as Chair of the Scientific Program Committee, a member of the Annual Meeting Committee, and a member of the Research and Training Council.
She received her Ph.D. in Pharmacology at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and then trained as a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. William A. Catterall at the University of Washington.