Colin Nichols

Colin Nichols

Colin Nichols in 2014, portrait via the Royal Society
Born Colin G. Nichols
Alma mater University of Leeds (BSc, PhD)
Thesis The effects of changes of length and load on contractility in mammalian myocardium (1985)
Doctoral advisor Brian R. Jewell[3][4]
Doctoral students
  • Rose Baghdady
  • Catherine Cukras
  • Revell Phillips[5]
Other notable students
  • (postdocs)
  • Anatoli N. Lopatin[6]
  • Show-Ling Shyng[5][7]
Known for
Notable awards

Colin G. Nichols FRS is the Carl Cori Endowed Professor, and Director of the Center for Investigation of Membrane Excitability Diseases at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.[2][11][12]


Nichols was educated at the University of Leeds where he was awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry and Physiology in 1982, followed by a PhD in 1985[13] for research on cardiac muscle in mammals supervised by Brian R. Jewell.[3][4]


Following is PhD, Nichols completed postdoctoral research at the University of Maryland, College Park in the laboratory of W. Jonathan Lederer.[14] He was appointed Assistant Professor at Washington University School of Medicine in 1991 and Full Professor in 2000.[3]


Nichol's research investigates the biology of ion channels, particularly potassium channels, and their role in diabetes mellitus, cardiac dysrhythmias and epilepsy.[15][16][17][18][19][20] Nichols uses models to investigate the structure, function and regulation of ion channels, which control what cells do by controlling their electrical polarity.[1]

Awards and honours

Nichols was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 2014. His nomination reads:

Colin Nichols is distinguished for his contributions to our understanding of cellular excitability and its role in disease. He was instrumental in cloning the first inward rectifier channel and the regulatory subunit of the KATP channel. He elucidated the mechanism of inward rectification, generated new insights into lipid regulation of ion channel function, determined the physiological role of cardiac KATP channels and identified one type of congenital hyperinsulinism. Animal models that he generated predicted the mechanism of human neonatal diabetes, and ultimately helped enable patients to switch from insulin injections to oral drug therapy.[10]


  1. 1 2 Colin Nichols elected to Royal Society, WUSTL Newsroom 2014-06-27
  2. 1 2 Colin Nichols's publications indexed by Google Scholar
  3. 1 2 3 Colin Nichols Laboratory, Washington University in St. Louis
  4. 1 2 Nichols, C. G.; Hanck, D. A.; Jewell, B. R. (1988). "The Anrep effect: An intrinsic myocardial mechanism". Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology. 66 (7): 924–9. doi:10.1139/y88-150. PMID 3214805.
  5. 1 2 Colin Nichols lab alumni, University of Washington in St. Louis
  6. Lopatin, A. N.; Makhina, E. N.; Nichols, C. G. (1994). "Potassium channel block by cytoplasmic polyamines as the mechanism of intrinsic rectification". Nature. 372 (6504): 366–369. doi:10.1038/372366a0.
  7. Shyng, S.; Nichols, C.G. (1998). "Membrane Phospholipid Control of Nucleotide Sensitivity of KATP Channels". Science. 282 (5391): 1138–41. doi:10.1126/science.282.5391.1138. PMID 9804554.
  8. Nichols, C. G. (2006). "KATP channels as molecular sensors of cellular metabolism". Nature. 440 (7083): 470–6. doi:10.1038/nature04711. PMID 16554807.
  9. Nichols, C. G.; Lopatin, A. N. (1997). "Inward Rectifier Potassium Channels". Annual Review of Physiology. 59: 171–191. doi:10.1146/annurev.physiol.59.1.171.
  10. 1 2 "Professor Colin Nichols FRS". London: The Royal Society. Archived from the original on 2014-11-11.
  11. List of publications from Microsoft Academic Search
  12. Colin Nichols's publications indexed by the Scopus bibliographic database, a service provided by Elsevier. (subscription required)
  13. Nichols, Colin G. (1985). The effects of changes of length and load on contractility in mammalian myocardium (PhD thesis). University of Leeds.
  14. Nichols, C. G.; Lederer, W. J. (1991). "Adenosine triphosphate-sensitive potassium channels in the cardiovascular system". The American journal of physiology. 261 (6 Pt 2): H1675–86. PMID 1750525.
  15. Ho, K.; Nichols, C. G.; Lederer, W. J.; Lytton, J.; Vassilev, P. M.; Kanazirska, M. V.; Hebert, S. C. (1993). "Cloning and expression of an inwardly rectifying ATP-regulated potassium channel". Nature. 362 (6415): 31–8. doi:10.1038/362031a0. PMID 7680431.
  16. Aguilar-Bryan, L.; Nichols, C.; Wechsler, S.; Clement, J.; Boyd, A.; Gonzalez, G.; Herrera-Sosa, H.; Nguy, K.; Bryan, J.; Nelson, D. (1995). "Cloning of the beta cell high-affinity sulfonylurea receptor: A regulator of insulin secretion". Science. 268 (5209): 423–6. doi:10.1126/science.7716547. PMID 7716547.
  17. Nichols, C. G.; Shyng, S. -L.; Nestorowicz, A.; Glaser, B.; Clement, J. P.; Gonzalez, G.; Aguilar-Bryan, L.; Permutt, M. A.; Bryan, J. (1996). "Adenosine Diphosphate as an Intracellular Regulator of Insulin Secretion". Science. 272 (5269): 1785–7. doi:10.1126/science.272.5269.1785. PMID 8650576.
  18. Kubo, Y.; Adelman, J.P.; Clapham, D.E.; Jan, L.Y.; Karschin, A.; Kurachi, Y.; Lazdunski, M.; Nichols, C.G.; Seino, S.; Vandenberg, C.A. (2005). "International Union of Pharmacology. LIV. Nomenclature and Molecular Relationships of Inwardly Rectifying Potassium Channels". Pharmacological Reviews. 57 (4): 509–26. doi:10.1124/pr.57.4.11. PMID 16382105.
  19. Koster, J.; Marshall, B.A.; Ensor, N.; Corbett, J.A.; Nichols, C.G. (2000). "Targeted Overactivity of β Cell KATP Channels Induces Profound Neonatal Diabetes". Cell. 100 (6): 645–654. doi:10.1016/S0092-8674(00)80701-1.
  20. Koster, J. C.; Knopp, A; Flagg, T. P.; Markova, K. P.; Sha, Q; Enkvetchakul, D; Betsuyaku, T; Yamada, K. A.; Nichols, C. G. (2001). "Tolerance for ATP-insensitive K(ATP) channels in transgenic mice". Circulation Research. 89 (11): 1022–9. doi:10.1161/hh2301.100342. PMID 11717159.

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