Johansen B. Amin

Johansen B. Amin


University of Chicago (2012)

Current Position:

7th Year MSTP

3rd Year Medical Student


Dr. Lonnie P. Wollmuth

Graduate Program:

Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology

Research Interest:

My thesis research involves Ionotropic glutamate receptors, an excitatory class of ligand gated ion channels that are present at roughly 70% of synapses in the central nervous system. The NMDA receptor is a major subtype of glutamate receptor that has been found to be critical in learning and memory. Numerous de novo mutations in the NMDA receptor have been identified in individuals with intellectual disability, epilepsy, autism and numerous other neurodevelopmental disorders. Recent evidence suggests that these mutations could account for a large percentage of certain disorders, especially idiopathic childhood epilepsies. As genetic sequencing becomes commonplace in the clinic, mutation hotspots have emerged in the NMDA receptor structure. By studying these hotspots, we can hope to better understand how this molecular machine works, and how to target drugs at specific components that are associated with disease.


Amin, J. B., Moody, G. R., & Wollmuth, L. P. (2020). From bedside-to-bench: What disease-associated variants are teaching us about the NMDA receptor. The Journal of physiology, 10.1113/JP278705. Advance online publication.

Li, J., Zhang, J., Tang, W., Mizu, R. K., Kusumoto, H., XiangWei, W., Xu, Y., Chen, W., Amin, J. B., Hu, C., Kannan, V., Keller, S. R., Wilcox, W. R., Lemke, J. R., Myers, S. J., Swanger, S. A., Wollmuth, L. P., Petrovski, S., Traynelis, S. F., & Yuan, H. (2019). De novo GRIN variants in NMDA receptor M2 channel pore-forming loop are associated with neurological diseases. Human mutation, 40(12), 2393–2413.

J. Amin , X. Leng, A. Gochman, H.X. Zhou, L.P. Wollmuth. A conserved glycine harboring disease associated mutations controls slow deactivation and high calcium permeability in NMDA receptors. In review.

J. Amin , L.P. Wollmuth (2018). A swiss army knife for targeting NMDA receptors (2018). Elife. May 24;7. pii: e37413. doi: 10.7554/eLife.37413.

J. Amin, C.L. Salussolia, K. Chan, M. Reagan, J. Dai, H.X. Zhou, H. Furukawa, M.E. Bowen, L.P. Wollmuth (2017). Divergent roles of a peripheral transmembrane segment in AMPA and NMDA receptors. Journal of General Physiology. 149(6):661-680.

Alsaloum, M., R. Kazi, Q. Gan, J. Amin, and L. P. Wollmuth (2016) A molecular determinant of subtype-specific desensitization in ionotropic glutamate receptors. Journal of Neuroscience. 36:2617-2622.