Skip to Main Content

Heads of Laboratories

Head shot of David Gadsby
David C. Gadsby, Ph.D.
Patrick A. Gerschel Family Professor
Laboratory of Cardiac and Membrane Physiology

Cell membranes contain millions of embedded proteins that control ion movements into and out of the cell. This ion flow underlies such vital functions as electrical signaling in nerve, heart, and muscle cells; cell volume regulation; secretion of hormones and neurotransmitters; fertilization; and kidney function. Dr. Gadsby’s research focuses on how ion transport proteins work.

Two principal classes of proteins regulate ion movement across membranes: pumps and channels. Although both move ions through the cell’s otherwise impenetrable phospholipid bilayer, they play distinct roles. Channels allow ions to flow rapidly down their electrochemical gradients, while pumps move ions relatively slowly, thermodynamically uphill, thereby building up those gradients. Pumps and channels have therefore traditionally been viewed as very different entities. Dr. Gadsby’s work, however, suggests they are far more closely related than generally assumed.

The Gadsby lab is using position-specific mutagenesis, combined with structural modeling and biochemical and electrical measurements, to examine the mechanisms of two biomedically important ion transport proteins. One, the Naâ


B.A. in physiology and biophysics, 1969
M.A. in physiology and biophysics, 1973
Trinity College, University of Cambridge

Ph.D. in physiology, 1978
University College London


Assistant Professor, 1978–1984
Associate Professor, 1984–1991
Professor, 1991–
The Rockefeller University


Irma T. Hirschl/Monique Weill-Caulier Trust Research Award, 1986
K.S. Cole Award, 1995
National Institutes of Health MERIT Award, 1998


The Royal Society


Chaves, L.A. and Gadsby, D.C. Cysteine accessibility probes timing and extent of NBD separation along the dimer interface in gating CFTR channels. J. Gen. Physiol. 145, 261–283 (2015).

Vedovato, N. and Gadsby, D.C. Route, mechanism, and implications of proton import during Na+/K+ exchange by native Na+/K+-ATPase pumps. J. Gen. Physiol. 143, 449–464 (2014).

Gadsby, D.C. et al. The dynamic relationships between the three events that release individual Na+ ions from the Na+/K+-ATPase. Nat. Commun. 3, 669 (2012).

Csanády, L. et al. Strict coupling between CFTR’s catalytic cycle and gating of its Cl- ion pore revealed by distributions of open channel burst durations. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 107, 1241–1246 (2010).

Gadsby, D.C. Ion channels versus ion pumps: The principal difference, in principle. Nat. Rev. Mol. Cell Biol. 10, 344–352 (2009)

Dr. Gadsby is a faculty member in the David Rockefeller Graduate Program and the Tri-Institutional M.D.-Ph.D. Program.