Leslie K. Sprunger, D.V.M., Ph.D.
Associate Chair for Vet. Med. Education (IPN)
Office: VBR 451
Telephone: (509) 335-7071
Fax: (509) 335-4650
My research has involved integrating physiological
methods with the tools of molecular genetics to study particular ion
channels in the nervous system. While past studies centered on motor
control, more recent work in my lab in collaboration with others has
focused on the spatial distribution of channel genes in the enteric
nervous system, vagal afferent neurons, and somatic afferent neurons
with the objective of better understanding the determinants of gut
function and dysfunction, as well as recovery of neuronal populations
I am also interested in the neuroscience of teaching and learning.
I am heavily involved in the DVM curriculum and take an
inquiry-based, scholarly approach to professional (veterinary) medical
education, especially in the disciplines of anatomy and physiology
Leslie Sprunger received a B.S. in Biological Science from the
University of Alaska, Fairbanks (1983); a D.V.M. from Washington State
University (1987) and entered private practice as a small animal
veterinarian. Dr. Sprunger returned to academia to earn a Ph.D. in
Physiology (1995) from the University of Minnesota, Department of
Veterinary Pathobiology where she was the recipient of a Graduate School
Fellowship, the Louise T. Dosdall Fellowship for Women in Science; the
Charles and Dorothy Andrew Bird Award for Research and a Howard Hughes
Medical Institute predoctoral fellowship. An NIH Clinical Investigator
Development Award funded Dr. Sprungers post-doctoral training in the
University of Minnesota Medical School Department of Physiology and the
Department of Human Genetics at the University of Michigan Medical
School. Dr. Sprunger was appointed research faculty at University of
Michigan in 1999, and joined IPN as Assistant Professor in July 2000.
Raman, I.M., L.K. Sprunger, M.H.
Meisler, and B.P. Bean. (1997) Altered subthreshold sodium currents and
disrupted firing patterns in Purkinje neurons of Scn8a mutant mice.
Garcia, K., L.K. Sprunger, M.H. Meisler, and K. Beam.
(1998) Postnatal development of sodium current density in normal and med
motoneurons. J. Neurosci., 18:5234-5239.
Sprunger, L.K., A. Escayg, S. Tallaksen-Greene, R.L.
Albin, and M.H. Meisler. (1999) Generalized dystonia associated with
mutation of the neuronal sodium channel Scn8a: role of the modifier
locus Scnm1 on mouse chromosome 3. Hum. Mol. Genet. 8:471-479.
Buchner, D.A., M. Trudeau, A.L. George, L.K. Sprunger,
and M.H. Meisler. (2003) High resolution mapping of the sodium channel
modifier Scnm1 on mouse chromosome 3 and identification of a 1.3 kb
recombination hotspot. Genomics 82(4): 452-459.
Meisler, M.H., N.W. Plummer, D.L. Burgess, D.A. Buchner, and
L.K. Sprunger. (2004) Allelic mutations of the sodium channel
SCN8A reveal multiple cellular and physiological functions.
Genetica (Netherlands) 122: 37-45.
Sprunger, L.K., and T.L. Smith. (2005) Reorganizing
small animal gross anatomy: improving the faculty and student experience
and incorporating non-technical competency development. J. Vet.
Med. Educ. 32: 255-263.
Bartoo, A.C., L.K. Sprunger, and
D.A. Schneider. (2005) Expression and distribution of TTX-sensitive
sodium channel alpha subunits in the enteric nervous system. J.
Bartoo, A.C., L.K. Sprunger, and D.A. Schneider.
(2006) Expression of the sodium channel Nav1.2 in chemically identified
myenteric neurons in the guinea pig. Cell Tiss. Res. 324(1):
Bartoo, A. C.,
L. K. Sprunger, and D. A. Schneider.
(2006). "Expression of sodium channel Na(v)1.6 in cholinergic
myenteric neurons of guinea pig proximal colon." Cell and Tissue
Research 325(2): 203-209.
Sprunger, L. K. (2008). "Facilitating
appreciation of anatomical variation and development of teamwork skills
in the gross anatomy laboratory using a cadaver reassignment system."
Journal of Veterinary Medical Education 35(1): 110-117.
Zhao, H., L. K. Sprunger, S. M. Simasko. (2010). "Expression of transient
receptor potential channels and two-pore potassium channels in subtypes
of vagal afferent neurons in rat."
Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol 298(2): G212-221.
Gallaher, Z.R., R.M.T. Larios, V. Ryu,
L.K. Sprunger and K. Czaja.
Recovery of viscerosensory innervation from the dorsal root
ganglia of the adult rat following capsaicin-induced injury. J. Comp.
Gallaher Z.R., V. Ryu, R.M. Larios, L.K. Sprunger,
K. Czaja. (2011) Neural proliferation and restoration of neurochemical
phenotypes and compromised functions following capsaicin-induced
neuronal damage in the nodose ganglion of the adult rat. Front
Memon M.A., L.K. Sprunger. (2011)
Survey of colleges and schools of veterinary medicine regarding
education in complementary and alternative veterinary medicine. J Am
Vet Med Assoc. 239(5):619-23
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