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School of Medicine Columbia

Faculty and Staff

Kenneth B. Walsh, Ph.D.

Title: Associate Professor of Pharmacology, Physiology & Neuroscience
Department: Pharmacology, Physiology and Neuroscience
School of Medicine Columbia
Phone: 803-216-3519
Fax: 803-216-3538

Pharmacology, Physiology & Neuro
Basic Science Bldg 1, Rm D-23



University of Rochester, School of Medicine

University of Cincinnati, College of Medicine


Work in my laboratory involves the development of cellular assays for studying biologically active compounds such as natural products, drugs and hormones.  Delta-9-tetrahydrocannibinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are the two major cannabinoids found in marijuana (cannabis sativa).  To date, invcannabinoidsestigators have isolated over one hundred chemically distinct cannabinoids from marijuana.  It is anticipated that these cannabinoids and related compounds will be useful for treating anxiety, pain, inflammation and other disorders.

The figure to the right shows the structures of THC (top) and CBD (bottom).

In one project, immortalized neuronal cell lines are stably transfected with cannabinoid CB1 receptors using recombinant lentiviral vectors.  The effects of THC and CBD on the activation of G protein-gated inward rectifier K+ (GIRK) channels are then determined using a membrane potential-sensitive fluorescent dye assay.  These results are compared with the ability of the cannabinoids to inhibit adenylyl cyclase and to stimulate the recruitment of β-arrestin to the plasma membrane. We are also studying the effects of synthetic cannabinoids such as JWH-018, MDMB-PICA and AB-FUBINACA on cell signaling.


Recent Publications

  • Walsh KB.  Screening Technologies for Inward Rectifier Potassium Channels: Discovery of New Blockers and Activators.  SLAS Discovery 2020; 25:420-433. 
  • Walsh KB, Andersen HK.  Molecular Pharmacology of Synthetic Cannabinoids: Delineating CB1 Receptor-mediated Cell Signaling.  International Journal of Molecular Sciences 2020; 21:6615.
  • Anderson H, Piroli G, Walsh KB. A real time screening assay for cannabinoid CB1 receptor-mediated signalling. Journal of Pharmacological and Toxicological Methods 2018;94-44-49
  • Walsh KB, Li H, Koley G.  Graphene alters the properties of voltage-gated Ca2+ channels in H9c2 cardiomyocytes.  Biomedical Physics and Engineering Express 2018; 4:065004.
  • Li H, Zhu Y, Islam S, Rahman MA, Walsh KB, Koley G.  Graphene field effect transistors for highly sensitive and selective detection of potassium ions.  Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical 2017; 253:759-765.
  • Walsh KB, Gay EA, Blough BE, Geurkink DW.  N-(2-methoxyphenyl) benzenesulfonamide, a novel regulator of neuronal G protein-gated inward rectifier K+ channels.  European Journal of Pharmacology 2017; 815:233-240

Find Dr. Walsh on PubMed.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.