Toshinori Hoshi, PhD

Professor Of Physiology

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605B Clinical Research Building

415 Curie Boulevard

Philadelphia, PA 19104

215-573-7305

Fax: 215-573-2273

hoshi@mail.med.upenn.edu

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Faculty Spotlight


July 2014

Toshinori Hoshi, PhD

The Hoshi lab is interested in the plasticity of cell excitability conferred by the modulation of ion channel activities. Dr. Toshinori Hoshi is an internationally recognized leader in studies of ion channel regulation by various important stimuli, factors and reagents that were relatively unexplored, including oxidation of methionine, oxidation of cysteine, locally assembled proteins, free heme, and heme breakdown products such as carbon dioxide and bilirubin-oxidation end products. More recently, he has focused on the effects of polyunsaturated fatty acids, using a vertical approach that ranges from detailed studies of single ion channel gating transitions to how those molecular events affect blood pressure in freely moving mice.

Toshi was a co-discoverer of the ball-and-chain mechanism of N-type inactivation of potassium channels, a fundamental regulatory mechanism that is critical for shaping proper membrane excitability. Whenever possible, he uses appropriate gating models of the channels under study to quantitatively describe how the modulators alter the channel activity. This gating model-based approach has proven to be extremely valuable especially for the Slo1 BK voltage- and calcium-regulated potassium channel with its multiple allosteric tiers of regulation that plays important roles in blood-pressure regulation, membrane excitability and secretion.

Toshi has published over 100 peer-reviewed articles in top-tier journals including Nature, Nature Structural and Molecular Biology, PNAS, and the Journal of General Physiology, among others. He has won several awards for his research contributions, including the prestigious McKnight Scholarship in Neuroscience and the Paul Cranefield Award. In addition, he is a former President of the Society of General Physiologists.

Toshi is a sought-out lecturer in both graduate and medical student courses because of the consistently outstanding reviews he gets for the contents and methods of their graphic delivery. He is Director of the Neuroscience Graduate Group Core II course, is a theme director in the Cell Biology and Biochemistry course, and lectures in several other courses.

Toshi enjoys research in a small group setting with one or two fellows in a very hands-on manner. He actually performs experiments himself on a regular basis! Toshi can almost always be found in his lab, more often at his rig rather than in his office; but if he's out of his lab, you might find him on the tennis court, jamming on one of his many guitars, or at an Eric Clapton concert.

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