Eamonn Dickson, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
4112A Tupper Hall
Davis Campus
Lab Website

Research Interests

Neuronal signaling entails an astonishingly beautiful and precise set of cellular events enchained through time and space. Careful choreography of these reactions ensures we are able to carry out even the most fundamental of tasks including speaking, listening, or learning. Research in the Dickson lab investigates how such intracellular signaling cascades are altered across different neurodegenerative diseases. The long-term goal of our group is to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying changes in signal transduction, ion channel function, and broader cellular programs of gene expression in neurodegenerative disorders, to determine how they contribute to neurodegeneration. To do this, we take a multi-disciplinary approach to science, involving state-of-the-art fluorescence super-resolution imaging, electrophysiology, cellular, molecular, and biophysical methods.

Graduate Group Affiliations

Descending chronological order (Dual first authorship is denoted by *)

Kutchukian C, Vivas O, Casas M, Jones JG, Tiscione SA, Simó S, Ory DS, Dixon RE, Dickson EJ. NPC1 regulates the distribution of phosphatidylinositol 4-kinases at Golgi and lysosomal membranes. EMBO J. PMID: 34019311

Del Villar SG, Voelker TL, Westhoff M, Reddy GR, Spooner HC, Navedo MF, Dickson EJ, Dixon RE. β-Adrenergic control of sarcolemmal CaV1.2 abundance by small GTPase Rab proteins. PNAS. 2021. PMID: 33558236

Prada MP, Syed AU, Reddy GR, Martín-Aragón Baudel M, Flores-Tamez VA, Sasse KC, Ward SM, Sirish P, Chiamvimonvat N, Bartels P, Dickson EJ, Hell JW, Scott JD, Santana LF, Xiang YK, Navedo MF, Nieves-Cintrón M. AKAP5 complex facilitates purinergic modulation of vascular L-type Ca2+ channel CaV1.2. Nat Commun. PMID: 33082339

Casas M, Fadó R, Domínguez JL, Roig A, Kaku M, Chohnan S, Solé M, Unzeta M, Miñano-Molina AJ, Rodríguez-Álvarez J, Dickson EJ, Casals N. Sensing of nutrients by CPT1C controls SAC1 activity to regulate AMPA receptor trafficking. J Cell Biol. 2020. PMID: 32931550

Kirmiz, M., Gillies, T. E., Dickson, E. J., and J. S. Trimmer. (2019). Neuronal ER-PM Junctions Organized by Kv2-VAP Pairing Recruit Nir Proteins and Affect Phosphoinositide Homeostasis. J. Biol. Chem. 294:17735-17757. PMID: 31594866.

Tiscione SA, Vivas O, Ginsburg KS, Bers DM, Ory DS, Santana LF, Dixon RE, and Dickson EJ. Disease-associated mutations in Niemann-Pick type C1 alter ER calcium signaling and neuronal plasticity. Journal of Cell Biology. 2019 DOI: 10.1083/jcb.201903018

Kirmiz M, Gillies TE, Dickson EJ, and Trimmer JS. Neuronal ER-plasma membrane junctions organized by Kv2-VAP pairing recruit Nir proteins and affect phosphoinositide homeostasis. J Biol Chem. 2019 Oct 8. PMID: 31594866

Porter JD, Vivas O, Weaver CD, Abdulmohsen A, DiMilo E, Arnold LA, Dickson EJ, and Dockendorff C. An Anthrone-Based Kv7.2/7.3 Channel Blocker with Improved Properties for the Investigation of Psychiatric and Neuro- degenerative Disorders. Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters. 2019 doi.org/10.1016/j.bmcl.2019.126681

Vivas O, Tiscione SA, Dixon RE, Ory DS, Dickson EJ. Niemann-Pick Type C Disease Reveals a Link between Lysosomal Cholesterol and PtdIns(4,5)P2 That Regulates Neuronal Excitability. Cell Reports. 2019 28;27(9):2636-2648. PMC6553496.

Dickson EJ (2019). Recent advances in understanding phosphoinositide signaling in the nervous system. F1000 Faculty Rev-278 12;8.  PMC6415330

Ito DW, Hannigan KI, Ghosh D, Xu B, Del Villar SG, Xiang YK, Dickson EJ, Navedo MF, Dixon RE. β-adrenergic-mediated dynamic augmentation of sarcolemmal CaV 1.2 clustering and co-operativity in ventricular myocytes. J Physiol. 2019 2019 597(8):2139-2162 PMC6462464

Dickson EJ, Hille B. Understanding phosphoinositides: rare, dynamic, and essential membrane phospholipids (2019). Biochem J. 2019 476(1):1-23. PMC6342281

Dixon RE, Vivas O, Hannigan KI, Dickson EJ. Ground State Depletion Super-resolution Imaging in Mammalian Cells. J Vis Exp. 2017 Nov 5;(129). doi: 10.3791/56239.

Dickson EJ. Endoplasmic Reticulum-Plasma Membrane Contacts Regulate Cellular Excitability. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2017;997:95-109. doi: 10.1007/978-981-10-4567-7_7.

Dickson EJ. RASSF4: Regulator of plasma membrane PI(4,5)P2. J Cell Biol. 2017 Jul 3;216(7):1879-1881. doi: 10.1083/jcb.20170604

Dickson EJ, Jensen JB, Vivas O, Kruse M, Traynor-Kaplan AE, Hille B. Dynamic formation of ER-PM junctions presents a lipid phosphatase to regulate phosphoinositides. J Cell Biol. 2016 Apr 11;213(1):33-48. doi: 10.1083/jcb.201508106

Traynor-Kaplan A, Kruse M, Dickson EJ, Dai G, Vivas O, Yu H, Whittington D, Hille B. Fatty-acyl chain profiles of cellular phosphoinositides. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2017 May;1862(5):513-522. doi: 10.1016/j.bbalip.2017.02.002. Epub 2017 Feb 9.

Dickson EJ (Corresponding author), Jensen JB, Vivas O, Kruse M, Traynor-Kaplan A, Hille B. Rapid formation of ER-PM junctions presents a lipid phosphatase to regulate phosphoinositide metabolism. J Cell Biol. 2016; 11;213(1):33-48

Dickson EJ (Corresponding author), Jensen JB, Hille B. Regulation of calcium and phosphoinositides at endoplasmic reticulum–membrane junctions. Biochem Soc Trans. 2016; 15;44(2):467-73.

Yu H, Dickson EJ, Koh DS, Hille B. Melatonin and N-acetyl melatonin are membrane-permeant hormones. J. Gen. Physiol., 2016;147(1):63-7

Hille B, Dickson EJ, Kruse M, Suh BC, Vivas O. Phosphoinositides regulate ion channels. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta., 2015 Jun;1851: 844-856

Dickson EJ, Jensen JB, Hille B. Golgi and plasma membrane pools of PI(4)P contribute to plasma membrane PI(4,5)P2 and maintenance of KCNQ2/3 ion channel current. PNAS., 2014; E2281–E2290.

Dickson EJ, Falkenburger BH, Hille B. Quantitative properties and receptor reserve of the IP3 and calcium branch of Gq-coupled receptor signaling. J. Gen. Physiol., 2013; May;141(5):521-35

Falkenbuger BH,* Dickson EJ,* Hille B. Quantitative properties and receptor reserve of the DAG and PKC branch of Gq-coupled receptor signaling. J. Gen. Physiol., 2013; May;141(5):537-55

Dickson EJ, Duman JG, Moody, MW, Chen L, Hille B. Orai-STIM mediated Ca2+ release from secretory granules revealed by a novel Ca2+ and pH probe. PNAS., 2012; Dec 18;109(51):E3539-48

Idevall-Hagren O, Dickson EJ, Hille B, Toomre DK, De Camilli P. Optogenetic control of phosphoinositide metabolism. PNAS., 2012; Aug 28;109(35): E2316-23.

Falkenburger BH, Jensen JB, Dickson EJ, Suh BC, Hille B. Phosphoinositides: lipid regulators of membrane proteins. J. Physiol., 2010; Sep 1; 588(Pt 17): 3179-3185.

Heredia DJ*, Dickson EJ*, Bayguinov PO, Hennig GW, Smith TK. Colonic elongation inhibits pellet propulsion and migrating motor complexes in the murine large bowel. J. Physiol., 2010; Aug 1; 588(Pt 15): 2919-2934

Dickson EJ, Heredia DJ, Smith TK. Critical role of 5-HT1A, 5-HT3, and 5-HT7 receptor subtypes in the initiation, generation, and propagation of the murine colonic migrating motor complex. Am. J. Physiol., 2010; Jul; 299(1): G144-157.

Smith TK, Dickson EJ, Heredia DJ, Hennig GW, Bayguinov PO. Controversies involving the role of 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) in generating colonic migrating motor complexes: what is spontaneous? Gastroenterology, 2010; Mar; 138(3): 1213-1214.

Dickson EJ, Heredia DJ, McCann CJ, Hennig GW, Smith TK. The mechanisms underlying the generation of the colonic migrating motor complex in both wild-type and nNOS knockout mice. Am. J. Physiol., 2010; Feb; 298(2): 222-233.

Heredia DJ,* Dickson EJ,* Bayguinov PO, Hennig GW, Smith TK. Localized release of 5-HT by a fecal pellet regulates migrating motor complexes in murine colon. Gastroenterology, 2009; Apr;136(4): 1328-1338.

Dickson EJ, Hennig GW, Heredia DJ, Lee HT, Bayguinov PO, Spencer NJ, Smith TK. Polarized intrinsic neural reflexes in response to colonic elongation. J. Physiol., 2008; Sep 1; 586(Pt 17): 4225-4240.

Smith TK, Spencer NJ, Hennig GW, Dickson EJ. Recent advances in enteric neurobiology: mechanosensitive interneurons. Neurogastroenterol. Motil., 2007; 19: 869–878

Smith TK, Dickson EJ, Hennig GW, Bayguinov PO, Spencer NJ. Colonic elongation activates an intrinsic reflex that underlies slow transit and accommodation. Physiological News, 2007; Number 69.

Dickson EJ, Spencer NJ, Bayguinov PO, Heredia DJ, Hennig GW, Smith TK. An intrinsic occult reflex underlies accommodation and slow transit in the distal large bowel. Gastroenterology, 2007; 132(5): 1912-24.

Spencer NJ*, Dickson EJ*, Hennig GW, Smith TK. Sensory elements within the circular muscle are essential for mechanotransduction of ongoing peristaltic reflex activity in guinea-pig distal colon. J. Physiol., 2006; 15; 576(Pt 2): 519-531.

Spencer N, Hennig GW, Dickson EJ, Smith TK. Synchronization of enteric neuronal firing during the murine colonic MMC. J. Physiol., 2005; 564: 829-847.

  • Best presentation H.D. Patton symposium, University of Washington, 2015
  • Member, Biochemical Society, 2015 –
  • Member, American Society for Cell Biology, 2014 —
  • Participant, 3-day Virtual Cell Short Course, Virtual Cell Modeling & Analysis, University of Connecticut, 2012
  • Chair, Voltage-Sensitive Proteins, Biophysical Society 56th Annual Meeting, San Diego, Ca, 2012
  • Organizer, Interdisciplinary Lipid meeting, University of Washington, 2011—present
  • Best presentation H.D. Patton symposium, University of Washington, 2011
  • Member, Biophysical Society, 2011— present
  • Glen E. Whiddett award for outstanding graduate student, University of Nevada, Reno, 2008
  • Graduate student research grant award winner, University of Nevada, Reno, 2008
  • Most outstanding international graduate student, University of Nevada, Reno, 2008
  • Most outstanding international graduate student, University of Nevada, Reno, 2007
  • Elected student President for Biomedical Science, Queens University, Belfast, 2004–2005