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Dr. Daniel Williams

Associate Professor
Life Sciences, Winston-Salem State Univ.
601 S Martin Luther King Jr Dr

Brief Biography:

Professional Experience: over 10 years in higher education and academic research, including post-doctoral training and adjunct teaching assignments. Many committees, including assessment, curriculum, course redesign, non-majors course coordination, masters' program set-up, and faculty searches. Goals: I would like to study proper and improper regulation of neurotransmitter-hormone systems. My hope is to relate those improper interactions to diseases and disorders and provide new, more natural, angles of treatments. On the education front, I would like to impart to students, especially non-majors, that they need to understand and appreciate science, for their health, for their understanding of science in the news, for the environment. For all students I am now emphasizing critical thinking and writing. I want my students to know their science, and how to use facts properly in making their own decisions, about science, health, and life in general, and I want them to be able to clearly communicate their decisions. Specialties Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, Neuroscience, Endocrinology, Pharmacology, Physiology, Education, Assessment, Curriculum

Academic positions:

Associate Professor of Molecular Biology, Winston-Salem State University 2011-current Assistant Professor of Molecular Biology, Winston-Salem State University 2004-2011 Assistant Professor of Cell Biology, New Mexico Highlands University 2002-2003

Research interests:

I have always been interested in signal transduction, especially neurotransmission and modulation. By modulation, I mean changing the strength of the signal either by exogenous drugs or ligands. I have extensive experience in the pharmacology and physiology of GABAA receptors, with many publications in the field, concentrating on the effects of hormones and other ligands on the structure and function of the receptors. In my dissertation work, we used substituted cysteine accessibility to determine the water accessibility of residues in a particular region of the GABAA receptor. We were able determine that the accessibility pattern of this region was different for when each of the different ligands GABA, valium, and propofol were added. This means that the conformation of the receptor is different for when each of these drugs was added, and is likely important in the mechanism of action of these drugs. I currently study and infer the conformations of the receptor when neurosteroids are applied. I also study the effect of a fast action of insulin on GABAA receptors which hopefully will lead into study the effects of steroid hormones and insulin on GABAA receptors and try to relate the effects to diabetes, food intake, and autoimmunity. In investigating these ideas I was struck at how central GABA is to inhibition in general and developed an interest in drug abuse. I began by investigating whether piperidine based compounds designed for the dopamine transporter may also have effects at GABAA receptors, which is the focus of my part of this proposal. I would like to investigate if those drugs could still be used for drug abuse treatments, or if GABAergic, as GABA acting drugs for epilepsy, sleep, anxiety, and other GABA related disorders.

What I think of the idea behind WebmedCentral:

I think any mechanism to get good quality and vetted research out quickly and free is a bonus, especially for researchers like myself at smaller institutions.