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Dr. Denise Ferkey

Associate Professor
Office: Cooke 353
Tel: (716) 645-4929

B.S. Saint Norbert College
Ph.D. University of Washington
Postdoctoral Research at Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center and Harvard Medical School


Research Summary:

Our research is directed towards understanding the regulatory mechanisms that control animal behavior. Using C. elegans sensory behavior (e.g. chemosensation) as a model, we study the regulation of G protein-coupled signal transduction pathways as well as the mechanisms by which the neurotransmitter dopamine modulates signaling and behavior.

Funding Support:
Ellison Medical Foundation
National Science Foundation
National Institutes of Health

Selected Publications:

  • Krzyzanowski, M.C., Woldemariam, S., Wood, J.F., Chaubey, A.H., Brueggemann, C., Bowitch, A., Bethke, M., L’Etoile, N.D. and Ferkey, D.M.  (2016)  Aversive behavior in the nematode C. elegans is modulated by cGMP and a neuronal gap junction network.  PLoS Genetics.  12(7): e1006153.  doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1006153.  Article

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  • Likhite, N., Jackson, C.A., Liang, M-S., Krzyzanowski, M.C., Lei, P., Wood, J.F., Birkaya, B., Michaels, K.L., Andreadis, S.T., Clark, S.D., Yu, M.C. and Ferkey, D.M.  (2015)  The protein arginine methyltransferase PRMT5 promotes D2-like dopamine receptor signaling.  Science Signaling.  8(402):ra115.   Article
  • Krzyzanowski, M.C., Brueggemann, C., Ezak, M.J., Wood, J.F., Michaels, K.L., Jackson, C.A., Juang, B-T., Collins, K., Yu, M.C., L’Etoile, N.D. and Ferkey, D.M.  (2013)  The C. elegans cGMP-dependent protein kinase G EGL-4 regulates nociceptive behavioral sensitivity.  PLoS Genetics.  9(7): e1003619. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1003619.   Article
  • Mann, J.K., Wood, J.F., Stephan, A.F., Tzanakakis, E.S., Ferkey, D.M. and Park, S.  (2013)  Epitope-guided engineering of monobody binders for in vivo inhibition of Erk-2 signaling.  ACS Chemical Biology.  8(3):608-616.   Article
  • Wood, J.F., Wang, J., Benovic, J.L. and Ferkey, D.M.  (2012)  Structural domains required for C. elegans G protein-coupled receptor kinase 2 (GRK-2) function in vivo.  Journal of Biological Chemistry.  287(16):12634-12644.   Article
  • Ezak, M.J. and Ferkey, D.M.  (2011)  A functional nuclear localization sequence in the C. elegans TRPV channel OCR-2.  PLoS ONE.  6(9): e25047. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0025047.   Article
  • Huang, H., Delikanli, S., Zeng, H., Ferkey, D.M. and Pralle, A.  (2010)  Remote control of ion channels and neurons through magnetic-field heating of nanoparticles.  Nature Nanotechnology.  5(8):602-606.   Article
  • Ezak, M.J., Hong, E., Chaparro-Garcia, A. and Ferkey, D.M.  (2010)  C. elegans TRPV channels function in a modality-specific pathway to regulate response to aberrant sensory signaling.  Genetics.  185(1):233-244.   Article
  • Ezak, M.J. and Ferkey, D.M.  (2010)  The C. elegans D2-like dopamine receptor DOP-3 decreases sensitivity to the olfactory stimulus 1-octanol.  PLoS ONE.  5(3): e9487.  doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0009487.   Article
  • Ferkey, D.M., Hyde, R., Haspel, G., Dionne, H.M., Hess, H.A., Suzuki, H., Schafer, W.R., Koelle, M.R. and Hart, A.C.  (2007)  C. elegans G protein regulator RGS-3 controls sensitivity to sensory stimuli.  Neuron.  53(1):39-52.   Article
  • Fukuto, H.S., Ferkey, D.M., Apicella, A.J., Lans, H., Sharmeen, T., Chen, W., Lefkowitz, R.J., Jansen, G., Schafer, W.R., and Hart, A.C.  (2004)  G protein-coupled receptor kinase function is essential for chemosensation in C. elegans.  Neuron.  42(4):581-593.   Article
  • Ferkey, D.M. and Kimelman, D.  (2002)  Glycogen synthase kinase-3β mutagenesis reveals a common binding domain for GBP and Axin.  Journal of Biological Chemistry.  277(18):16147-16152.   Article
  • Graham, T.A., Ferkey, D.M., Mao, F., Kimelman, D., and Xu, W.  (2001)  Tcf4 can specifically recognize β-catenin using alternative conformations.  Nature Structural Biology.  8(12):1048-1052.   Article
  • Ferkey, D.M. and Kimelman, D.  (2000)  GSK-3: New thoughts on an old enzyme.  Developmental Biology.  225:471-479.   Article
  • Farr III, G.H., Ferkey, D.M., Yost, C., Pierce, S.B., Weaver, C. and Kimelman, D.  (2000)  Interaction among GSK-3, GBP, Axin, and APC in Xenopus axis specification.  The Journal of Cell Biology.  148(4):691-701.   Article
  • Yost, C., Farr III, G.H., Pierce, S.B., Ferkey, D.M., Chen, M.M., and Kimelman, D.  (1998).  GBP, an inhibitor of GSK-3, is implicated in Xenopus development and oncogenesis.  Cell.  93:1031-1041.   Article