Last Name

Simon Levy, PhD

TitleAssociate Professor
InstitutionBoston University School of Medicine
DepartmentPhysiology & Biophysics
Address72 E. Concord St Instructional (L)
Boston MA 02118
Phone(617) 638-4264
ORCID ORCID Icon0000-0002-8250-6536
Other Positions
TitleGraduate Faculty (Primary Mentor of Grad Students)
InstitutionBoston University School of Medicine, Division of Graduate Medical Sciences

 Research Expertise & Professional Interests
Expertise on calcium signalling in nerve cells. In most nerve cells, transient increases in intracellular free calcium concentrations (Cai) are caused primarily by influx through voltage-dependent calcium channels. Second messengers like inositol trisphosphate (InsP3) or calcium also have the ability to increase Cai through release from intracellular stores, or gating of calcium channels.

The long-term goal of this laboratory is to investigate mechanisms by which second messengers modulate the excitability of nerve cells by controlling their membrane permeability. We have developed suitable technologies: i) to measure single-channel activities ii) to simultaneously measure changes in intracellular calcium and membrane currents; iii) to pressure-inject pharmacological agents to investigate putative pathways involved in neuronal excitability. The combination of these electrophysiological and pharmacological techniques have proven useful in gathering new and important information about nerve cell function.

There are four main projects:

1. Intracellular calcium regulation and detection in nerve cells. Effects of second messengers on internal calcium and membrane currents in nerve cells.
2. Role of calcium-induced calcium release in the excitability of the peptidergic neurons of Aplysia californica.
3. Role of calcium and Inositol Trisphosphate in phototransduction in Limulus photoreceptors.
4. Genetic Dissociation of phototransduction in Drosophila photoreceptors.


Yr Title Project-Sub Proj Pubs

Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.
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  1. Kachoei BA, Knox RJ, Uthuza D, Levy S, Kaczmarek LK, Magoski NS. A store-operated Ca(2+) influx pathway in the bag cell neurons of Aplysia. J Neurophysiol. 2006 Nov; 96(5):2688-98. PMID: 16885525.
    View in: PubMed
  2. Agam K, von Campenhausen M, Levy S, Ben-Ami HC, Cook B, Kirschfeld K, Minke B. Metabolic stress reversibly activates the Drosophila light-sensitive channels TRP and TRPL in vivo. J Neurosci. 2000 Aug 1; 20(15):5748-55. PMID: 10908615.
    View in: PubMed
  3. Levy S, Payne R. Limulus ventral photoreceptors contain two functionally dissimilar inositol triphosphate-induced calcium release mechanisms. J Photochem Photobiol B. 1996 Aug; 35(1-2):97-103. PMID: 8823939.
    View in: PubMed
  4. Fisher TE, Levy S, Kaczmarek LK. Transient changes in intracellular calcium associated with a prolonged increase in excitability in neurons of Aplysia californica. J Neurophysiol. 1994 Mar; 71(3):1254-7. PMID: 8201416.
    View in: PubMed
  5. Levy S, Payne R. A lingering elevation of Cai accompanies inhibition of inositol 1,4,5 trisphosphate-induced Ca release in Limulus ventral photoreceptors. J Gen Physiol. 1993 Jan; 101(1):67-84. PMID: 8436942.
    View in: PubMed
  6. Levy S. Effect of intracellular injection of inositol trisphosphate on cytosolic calcium and membrane currents in Aplysia neurons. J Neurosci. 1992 Jun; 12(6):2120-9. PMID: 1607931.
    View in: PubMed
  7. Levy S, Tillotson D. Effects of Na+ and Ca2+ gradients on intracellular free Ca2+ in voltage-clamped Aplysia neurons. Brain Res. 1988 Dec 6; 474(2):333-42. PMID: 3208137.
    View in: PubMed
  8. Payne R, Walz B, Levy S, Fein A. The localization of calcium release by inositol trisphosphate in Limulus photoreceptors and its control by negative feedback. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 1988 Jul 26; 320(1199):359-79. PMID: 2906144.
    View in: PubMed
  9. Levy S, Tillotson D. Ability of the Ca2+-selective microelectrodes to measure fast and local Ca2+ transients in nerve cells. Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 1987 May; 65(5):904-14. PMID: 2441832.
    View in: PubMed
  10. Gorman AL, Levy S, Nasi E, Tillotson D. Intracellular calcium measured with calcium-sensitive micro-electrodes and Arsenazo III in voltage-clamped Aplysia neurones. J Physiol. 1984 Aug; 353:127-42. PMID: 6434727.
    View in: PubMed
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