Associate Professor Ellen Lumpkin
Columbia University
Irving Medical Center

Abstract: My group studies genes, cells and signals underlying the sensations of touch, pain and itch. Our research has unveiled how mechanosensitive epithelial cells work in concert with the nervous system to generate different qualities of touch sensation.  We have identified distinct sensory functions of epithelial Merkel cells using optogenetics, neurophysiology, intersectional mouse models and molecular approaches.  Current studies are defining molecular mechanisms of cell-cell signaling between epithelia and neurons, unravelling conserved functions of mechanoreceptors across tissues, and elucidating mechanisms that establish and maintain epithelial-neuronal connections during development.

Bio: Ellen A. Lumpkin is an associate professor of physiology & cellular biophysics and of somatosensory biology (in dermatology) at Columbia University. Lumpkin’s research focuses on genes, cells and neural signals that give rise to the sensations of touch, pain and itch.  Dr. Lumpkin is Codirector of the Thompson Family Foundation Initiative in Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy & Sensory Neuroscience. She previously was a Sandler Fellow at UC San Francisco and an assistant professor of neuroscience, physiology & molecular biophysics, and molecular & human genetics at Baylor College of Medicine. 


Queensland Bioscience Precinct
Building 80
The University of Queensland
St Lucia