Simon Levy, PhD
Associate Professor
Boston University School of Medicine
Dept of Physiology & Biophysics

PhD, Boston University
MA, University of Geneva



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.

Graduate Faculty (Primary Mentor of Grad Students)
Boston University School of Medicine, Division of Graduate Medical Sciences







Yr Title Project-Sub Proj Pubs
1996 CALCIUM SIGNALING IN NERVE CELLS 5R01NS030672-03 1
1995 CALCIUM SIGNALING IN NERVE CELLS 5R01NS030672-02 1
1994 CALCIUM SIGNALING IN NERVE CELLS 1R01NS030672-01A1 1
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.

  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; PMCID: PMC2894935.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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; PMCID: PMC2216755.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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; PMCID: PMC1193298.

This graph shows the total number of publications by year, by first, middle/unknown, or last author.

Bar chart showing 10 publications over 9 distinct years, with a maximum of 2 publications in 1988

YearPublications
19841
19871
19882
19921
19931
19941
19961
20001
20061
Contact for Mentoring:


72 E. Concord St Instructional (L)
Boston MA 02118
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