Dr. Leigh Anne Swayne
Understanding the bioelectric control of the birth of new neurons
Dr. Leigh Anne Swayne is a neuroscientist who was recently recruited (January 1, 2011) to the Division of Medical Sciences (UVic) and the Island Medical Program (UBC). She has expertise in electrophysiology as well as protein and lipid biochemistry. She previously held postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Ottawa and at the CNRS in Montpellier, France. Leigh Anne's long-term lab direction is to uncover and understand the myriad functions of ion channels in the impulse conducting cells of the brain over the 'lifetime' of these cells (from the neural stem cell to the mature neuron).
Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology
Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology
Affliliate Assistant Professor in the Department of Cellular Physiology, UBC
- Bioelectric control of neural stem and progenitor cell biology
- Neural stem cells in brain repair
- Pannexins and voltage-gated sodium and calcium channel superfamily members
- Structure, function and regulation by protein-protein interactions
Brain disorders, like stroke, affect a large proportion of Canadians. Stroke causes significant damage to the brain, including the loss of neurons in affected regions. We now know that new neurons can be made even in adult brain from resident stem cells. Stem cells are unique unspecialized cells that can produce more cells including neurons. Having studied ion channels from both biochemical and electrophysiological perspectives, Leigh Anne’s long-term objective is to unravel the contributions of different ion channel to the control of neural stem cell behaviour (proliferation, differentation, migration. maturation). She recently discovered that a pannexin-family-member (pannexins are large-pore single membrane ion- and metabolite-permeable channels), called Panx2, is expressed in neural stem cells. The results of her work suggest Panx2 may act to maintain the cells in which it is expressed in a stem-like state.
In addition to her interest in pannexins, she has previously done several structure-function and protein interaction regulation studies on members of the voltage-gated sodium and calcium channel super-family (N-type voltage-gated calcium channels and sodium leak channel, non- selective, NALCN). She will apply similar tools to study ion channels in neurogenesis.
Leigh Anne's work will contribute to our knowledge of the bioelectric control of neural stem cells, and, in the long-term, may assist in the evaluation of specific ion channels as targets to promote brain repair.
Research Topic in Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience
Dr. Leigh Anne Swayne is creator and co-editor of a research topic published in Frontiers of Cellular Neuroscience. Read more.
Dr. Swayne and two of her graduate students, Leigh Wicki-Stordeur and Andrew Boyce recently had a paper published entitled Analysis of a pannexin 2-pannexin 1 chimeric protein supports divergent roles for pannexin C-termini in cellular localiztion. Read the abstract.
For her graduate studies in the Swayne Lab, Leigh Wicki-Stordeur has been selected to receive the following two awards from the Faculty of Graduate Studies Donar Awards. Leigh was awarded the Howard E. Petch Research Scholarship ($7500) and the Edythe Hembroff-Schleicher Scholarship ($9000). Leigh also awarded an NSERC PGSM earlier this year.
Congratulations Leigh and best wishes for continued success in your graduate program.
NSERC Engage grant in partnership with StressMarq a local biotech company to generate new pannexin antibodies
NSERC Discovery Grant (Total $36,000/year + $5,000 Early Careeer Researcher Supplement)
Victoria Foundation ($6,000)
- Wicki-Stordeur LE, Boyce AK, Swayne LA Analysis of a pannexin 2-pannexin 1 chimeric protein supports divergent rolles for pannexin C-termini in cellular localization.Cell Commun Adhes, May 10(Epub ahead of print)
- Wicki-Stordeur LE, Swayne LA (2012) Large Pore Ion and Metabolite-Permeable Channel regulation of Postnatal Ventricular Zone Neural Stem and Progenitor Cells: Interplay between Aquaporins, connexins, and Pannexins? Stem Cell Int. 2012:454180
- Swayne LA, Wicki-Stordeur LE (2012) Ion channels in postnatal neurogenesis: potential targets for brain repair. Channels 6:69-74
- Wicki-Stordeur LE, Dzugalo AD, Swansburg RM, Suits JM, Swayne LA (2012) Pannexin 1 regulates postnatal neural stem and progenitor cell proliferation. Neural Development, 7:11.
- Kennedy MA, Kabania N, Lambert J-P, Swayne LA, Ahmed F, Figeys D, Bennett SAL, Bryan J, Baetz K (2011) Srf1 is a novel regulator of phospholipase D activity and is essential to buffer the toxic effects of C16:0 platelet activating factor. PLoS Genetics 7(2): e1001299. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1001299 [Epub ahead of print]
- Redensek A, Rathore K, Berard JL, Lopez-Vales R, Swayne LA, Steffany Bennett, Mohri I, Taniike M, Urade Y, David S (2011) Expression and detrimental role of hematopoietic prostaglandin D synthase in spinal cord contusion injury. Glia, 2011 Feb 3. doi: 10.1002/glia.21128. [Epub ahead of print]
- Bou Khalil M, Hou W, Zhou H, Elisma F, Swayne LA, Blanchard AP, Yao Z, Bennett SA, Figeys D (2010) Lipidomics era: Accomplishments and challenges. Mass Spectrom Rev, 29: 877-929.
- Swayne LA, Sorbara CD, Bennett SAL (2010) Pannexin 2 is expressed in hippocampal neural progenitor cells and modulates neuronal commitment. J Biol Chem, 285: 24977-24986.
- Swayne LA, Mezghrani A, Lory P, Nargeot J, Monteil A (2010) The NALCN ion channel is a new actor in pancreatic beta-cell physiology. Islets, 2: 54-56 (review).
- Ryan SD, Whitehead SN, Swayne LA, Moffat TC, Hou W, Ethier M, Bourgeois AJG, Rashidian J, Blanchard AP, Fraser PE, Park DS, Figeys D, Bennett SAL (2009) Amyloid-β42 signals tau hyperphosphorylation and compromises neuronal viability by disrupting alkylacylglycerophosphocholine metabolism. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 106: 20936-20941.
- Swayne LA, Mezghrani A, Varrault A, Chemin J, Bertrand G, Dalle S, Bourinet E, Lory P, Miller RJ, Nargeot J, Monteil A (2009) The NALCN cation channel is modulated by muscarinic M3 receptors independently of G protein activation in a β pancreatic cell line. EMBO Rep, 10: 873-880.
- Weng N, Baumler MD, Thomas DD, Falkowski MA, Swayne LA, Braun JE, Groblewski GE (2009) Functional role of cysteine string protein's J domain in Ca2+-dependent secretion from acinar cells. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol, 296: G1030-1039.
- Swayne LA , Bourinet E (2008) Voltage-gated calcium channels in chronic pain: emerging role of alternative splicing. Pflugers Arch (Eur J Physiol),456: 459-466 (review).
- Swayne LA, Braun JE (2007) Aggregate-centered redistribution of proteins by mutant huntingtin. Biochem Biophys Res Commun, 354: 39-44.
- Bai L, Swayne LA, Braun JE (2007) The CSPalpha/G protein complex in PC12 cells. Biochem Biophys Res Commun, 352: 123-129.
- Bidaud I, Mezghrani A, Swayne LA, Monteil A, Lory P (2006) Voltage-gated calcium channels in genetic diseases. Biochim Biophys Acta, 1763: 1169-1174 (review).
- Swayne LA, Beck KE, Braun JE (2006) The cysteine string protein multimeric complex. Biochem Biophys Res Commun, 348: 83-91.
- Swayne LA, Chen L, Hameed S, Barr W, Charlesworth E, Colicos MA, Zamponi GW, Braun JE (2005) Crosstalk between huntingtin and syntaxin 1A regulates N-type calcium channels. Mol Cell Neurosci, 30: 339-351.
- Miller LC, Swayne LA, Chen L, Feng ZP, Wacker JL, Muchowski PJ, Zamponi GW, Braun JE (2003) Cysteine string protein (CSP) inhibition of N-type calcium channels is blocked by mutant huntingtin. J Biol Chem, 278: 53072-53081.
- Miller LC‡, Swayne LA‡, Kay JG, Feng ZP, Jarvis SE, Zamponi GW, Braun JE (2003) Molecular determinants of cysteine string protein modulation of N-type calcium channels. J Cell Sci, 116(Pt 14): 2967-2974 (‡ equal contribution).
- Swayne LA, Blattler C, Kay JG, Braun JE (2003) Oligomerization characteristics of cysteine string protein. Biochem Biophys Res Commun, 300: 921-926.
Leigh Anne Swayne
Leigh Anne was an avid sportswoman of all sorts (rugby, basketball, volleyball, running...). She now spends her spare time doing crossfit and continues to fuel her lifelong passion for books and movies. Together Leigh Anne and her husband share two wonderful dogs.
Leigh Anne's Favourites.
Places: Plage de l'Espiguette, St. Guilhem le Desert, Aitutaki
Movies: Too many...Dr. Zhivago, Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Batman Trilogy (Nolan)
Books: The Birth of Venus, The Poisonwood Bible, Mystery novels by Ian Rankin, PD James, Arnaldur Indridasson etc.
Leigh Wicki-Stordeur - PhD Student, Neuroscience; BSc (Hon) Biochemistry, UVic
Leigh joined the Swayne lab team in February 2011, while finishing her BSc in Biochemistry, and is now working towards her MSc in the new Neuroscience Graduate program. Leigh's current project centres on the role of the Pannexin-1 ion channel in neural stem and progenitor cells, and how it affects neuronal development. Additionally, Leigh is using proteomic tools and in vitro models of neurogenesis to examine the changes in expression in the repertoire of ion channels present throughout neuronal development.
Extracurricular activities: soccer, reading and skiing.
Andrew Boyce - MSc Student, Neuroscience; BSc Biology and Anthropology
In January of 2012, Andrew, a Biology and Anthropology double major, joined the Swayne lab as an undergraduate directed studies student. This fall, Andrew is starting his Masters in Neuroscience in the Swayne lab, where he will focus his research on the physiological importance of the Pannexin-1C-terminus, particularly the implications of C-terminal caspase cleavage. His project will also include the analysis of Pannexin-1 interactors in the cellular environment with hopes to better understand the role of the C-terminal fragment after cleavage. Outside of the lab, Andrew is an avid road-biker, distance runner, and soccer player. He spent this past summer, traveling through South America and Scandinavia - enjoying the outdoors and attending music festivals in Western Canada, the United States and Sweden.
Movies: Away We Go, Children of Men, Best in Show.
Favourite Books: Mother Night by Kurt Vonnegut, A Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time by Mark Haddon.
Gaurav Sekhon - BSc Microbiology
Gaurav is a student in his 4th year of undergraduate studies at UVic. He is a microbiology major, but is doing his honours research in a neuroscience lab because he finds it to be the most interesting. Outside of UVic, he's in the process of co-authoring a systematic review with the Cochrane Collaboration's Hypertension Group, which is based in UBC. He also volunteers in the Emergency Department at Victoria General Hospital. Outside of academia altogether, he enjoys video games, comedy in most of its forms, science fiction, greasy food, long walks on the beach, and of course, playing funny science fiction-based video games while eating hamburgers on the beach.
Movie: "The Matrix" (1999)
Book: " The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"
Ross Prager - BSc Microbiology
Ross is completing his BSc in Microbiology at UVic, and joined the Swayne lab in January 2012. Ross was an NSERC co-op student in the Swayne lab for the summer of 2012 and is now acting as a volunteer. He is involved with studying the ion channel Pannexin 1, and its role in differentiation of neural stem cells in the brain. Ross was born and raised in Victoria, graduating from St. Michael's University School. Ross is an avid badminton player who has competed across Canada in competition,and has traveled to China for training experience. On top of badminton, Ross also enjoys playing tennis and running. When not at school or in the lab, Ross can be found working with the British Columbia Ambulance Service as a paramedic.
Places: Costa Rica, New Zealand.
Movie: The Shawshank Redemption.
TV Show: The Big Bang Theory
Adrian Dzugalo (co-op)
Rose Swansburg (co-op)
Jocelyne Suits (part time lab tech)
This could be you!
Please contact Dr. Swayne ( email@example.com) with the following information to inquire about the following positions.
Post Doctoral Researchers
No available positions at this time.
No available positions at this time.
If you are interested in volunteering/working in Swayne Lab, please submit the following documents.
CV with references
Paragraph explaining your interest in the lab