Lori L Isom, PhD
Maurice H Seevers Collegiate Professor of Pharmacology
Chair, Department of Pharmacology
Professor of Pharmacology
Professor of Molecular and Integrative Physiology
Professor of Neurology
Department of Pharmacology
1500 E. Medical Center Drive, 2301 MSRB III
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-5632
[email protected]

Available to mentor

Lori L Isom, PhD
  • About
  • Links
  • Qualifications
  • Center Memberships
  • Research Overview
  • Recent Publications
  • About

    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. She received her PhD 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. Dr. Isom served as Director of the Program in Biomedical Sciences and Assistant Dean for Graduate Education in the University of Michigan Medical School from 2008-2014. In 2014 she was appointed Interim Chair of Pharmacology. In 2015, following a national search, she was appointed Chair of Pharmacology. From 2016-2019 she served as elected Chair of the Endowment for Basic Sciences (EBS). She serves on many institutional committees including as an elected member of the Medical School Executive Committee.

    Dr. Isom’s research program at the University of Michigan focuses on voltage-gated sodium channel function and the roles of sodium channel gene variants in developmental and epileptic encephalopathy (DEE), including Dravet syndrome. Her lab investigates SCN1A, SCN1B, and SCN8A DEE variants in mouse models and in human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) neurons and cardiac myocytes. Dr. Isom showed, in collaboration with Dr. Jack Parent, that the high risk of SUDEP in Dravet syndrome may result from a predisposition to cardiac arrhythmias in addition to neuronal hyperexcitability, reflecting haploinsufficiency of SCN1A in heart and brain and the resulting compensatory overexpression of other sodium channel genes in those tissues. Their work predicted cardiac abnormalities in a Dravet syndrome patient prior to clinical evaluation. Most recently, she has collaborated with Stoke Therapeutics to develop the first antisense oligonucleotide precision therapeutic agent for Dravet syndrome, which is now in clinical trials. Dr. Isom is Co-PI of the NINDS-funded EpiMVP Center Without Walls.

    Dr. Isom serves as PI of the NIH funded, Pharmacological Sciences Training Program T32 grant. She co-chairs the Dravet Syndrome Foundation Scientific Advisory Board, served a three-year term on the Board of the American Epilepsy Society (AES) and now co-chairs the AES/NINDS Benchmarks Committee, and serves on the International League Against Epilepsy ILAE) Translational Task Force, the Epilepsy Action Network, and Partners Against Mortality in Epilepsy (PAME). She chaired the NIH ESTA study section, and serves on editorial boards of scientific journals. She has received awards for research and mentoring, including her current NINDS Javits R37 MERIT award and the University of Michigan Rackham Distinguished Graduate Mentoring Award. She is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a Fellow of the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, and a Fellow of the American Epilepsy Society. Dr. Isom was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2021 and received the American Epilepsy Society Basic Science Award in 2022.

    • Isom Lab Website
    • Department of Pharmacology, University of Michigan
    • Postdoctoral
      University of Washington, Pharmacology
    • PhD
      Vanderbilt University, Nashville, 1987
    • B.A.
      Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, 1982
    Center Memberships
    • Center Member
      Precision Health Initiative
    • Center Member
      Samuel and Jean Frankel Cardiovascular Center
    • Center Member
      Caswell Diabetes Institute
    • Center Member
      Center for Cell Plasticity and Organ Design
    • Center Member
      Biosciences Initiative
    Research Overview

    Physiology and pharmacology of voltage-gated sodium channels; role of sodium channel variants in genetic epilepsy, cardiac arrhythmia and SUDEP.

    Recent Publications See All Publications
    • Journal Article
      XOB: A novel phenylalkylamine antagonist of 5-HT2A receptors and voltage-gated sodium channels.
      Denomme N, Hernandez CC, Bock HA, Ohana RF, Bakshi S, Sherwood AM, McCorvy JD, Daley PF, Callaway WB, Hull JM, Alt A, Isom LL, Cozzi NV. Mol Pharmacol, 2024 May 31; DOI:10.1124/molpharm.123.000837
      PMID: 38821630
    • Journal Article
      In Memoriam: William Albert Catterall (1946–2024)
      Isom LL. Bioelectricity, DOI:10.1089/bioe.2024.0020
    • Journal Article
      William Albert Catterall (1946-2024).
      Hell JW, Herlitze S, Isom L, Lee A, Yarov-Yarovoy V. Nat Neurosci, 2024 Apr 30; DOI:10.1038/s41593-024-01641-3
      PMID: 38689143
    • Journal Article
      Antisense oligonucleotides restore excitability, GABA signalling and sodium current density in a Dravet syndrome model.
      Yuan Y, Lopez-Santiago L, Denomme N, Chen C, O'Malley HA, Hodges SL, Ji S, Han Z, Christiansen A, Isom LL. Brain, 2024 Apr 4; 147 (4): 1231 - 1246. DOI:10.1093/brain/awad349
      PMID: 37812817
    • Journal Article
      Dlg1 gene expression and sexual dimorphism in regulation of heart rate and its variability in a murine model
      Raza D, Siddiqui S, Kalla I, Mondragon R, Olaiya O, Anderson E, Isom LL, Berenfeld O, Anumonwo JM. Biophysical Journal, 2024 Feb; 123 (3): 388a DOI:10.1016/j.bpj.2023.11.2358
    • Journal Article
      Deriving early single-rosette brain organoids from human pluripotent stem cells.
      Tidball AM, Niu W, Ma Q, Takla TN, Walker JC, Margolis JL, Mojica-Perez SP, Sudyk R, Deng L, Moore SJ, Chopra R, Shakkottai VG, Murphy GG, Yuan Y, Isom LL, Li JZ, Parent JM. Stem Cell Reports, 2023 Dec 12; 18 (12): 2498 - 2514. DOI:10.1016/j.stemcr.2023.10.020
      PMID: 37995702
    • Journal Article
      Heterogeneity of voltage gated sodium current density between neurons decorrelates spiking and suppresses network synchronization in Scn1b null mouse models.
      Hull JM, Denomme N, Yuan Y, Booth V, Isom LL. Sci Rep, 2023 Jun 1; 13 (1): 8887 DOI:10.1038/s41598-023-36036-0
      PMID: 37264112
    • Journal Article
      NADPH Oxidases and Oxidative Stress in the Pathogenesis of Atrial Fibrillation.
      Ramos-Mondragón R, Lozhkin A, Vendrov AE, Runge MS, Isom LL, Madamanchi NR. Antioxidants (Basel), 2023 Oct 6; 12 (10): DOI:10.3390/antiox12101833
      PMID: 37891912