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Kevin D. Gillis, DSc

Professor, Dept. of Biomedical, Biological and Chemical Engineering, College of Engineering
Office Location: 222B DCRC
Office Phone: 573-884-8805

Research Interests

Developing and applying biophysical (particularly electrical and optical) techniques toward the understanding of the dynamics of cell secretion from individual cells

Research Description

My main area of interest is understanding the final steps of cell secretion and the modulation of these steps by calcium and second messengers. We use multiple biophysical approaches to assay dynamic aspects of secretion from individual adrenal chromaffin cells. Since calcium and second messengers play a central role in regulating both secretion of hormones and release of neurotransmitter at synapses, the results of our research have an impact on understanding such diverse phenomena as the "fight or flight" response and the formation of short-term memory.

Our research also has a strong engineering component with particular emphasis on developing or refining electrical and optical techniques for studying secretion. In particular, we have been developing microchips with arrays of transparent electrochemical electrodes to measure secretion of catecholamines from individual cells simultaneously with optical measurements.  Other techniques in use in the lab include patch-clamp electrophysiology with membrane capacitance measurements as an assay of exocytosis/ endocytosis, photometric measurement of the intracellular Ca2+ concentration with indicator dyes, and photo- release of intracellular Ca2+ from caged compounds.

Professional Background

  • Obtained BS in electrical engineering, Washington University.
  • Obtained MS in electrical engineering, Washington University.
  • Obtained DSc in electrical engineering, certificate in biomedical engineering, Washington University.
  • Completed postdoctoral training at Max-Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Goettingen, Germany.

Selected Publications

Estimating amperometric spike parameters resulting from quantal exocytosis using curve fitting seeded by a matched-filter algorithm. Balaji Ramachandran S, Gillis KD. J Neurosci Methods. 2018 Sep 22. pii: S0165-0270(18)30285-1. doi: 10.1016/j.jneumeth.2018.09.018. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 30253199

Electrochemical measurement of quantal exocytosis using microchips. Gillis KD, Liu XA, Marcantoni A, Carabelli V. Pflugers Arch. 2018 Jan;470(1):97-112. doi: 10.1007/s00424-017-2063-2. Epub 2017 Sep 2. Review. PMID: 28866728

A matched-filter algorithm to detect amperometric spikes resulting from quantal secretion. Balaji Ramachandran S, Gillis KD. J Neurosci Methods. 2018 Jan 1;293:338-346. doi: 10.1016/j.jneumeth.2017.10.019. Epub 2017 Oct 20. PMID: 29061344

Hettie, K.S., Liu, X., Gillis K.D., and Glass, T.E.  Selective Catecholamine Recognition with NeuroSensor 521: A Fluorescent Sensor for the Visualization of Norepinephrine in Fixed and Live Cells. ACS Chem Neurosci 4: 918-923, 2013.

Yao, J., and Gillis, K.D. Quantification of noise sources for amperometric measurement of quantal exocytosis using microelectrodes.  Analyst 137: 2674-2681, 2012.

Kisler, K., Kim, B.N., Liu, X., Berberian, K., Fang, Q., Mathai, C.J., Gangopadhyay, S., Gillis, K.D., and Lindau, M.  Transparent electrode materials for simultaneous amperometric detection of exocytosis and fluorescence microscopy. Journal of Biomaterials and Nanobiotechnology 3: 243-253, 2012.

Misler, S., and Gillis, K.DModes of exocytosis and electrogenesis underlying canine biphasic insulin secretion. Frontiers in Bioscience E4: 669-676, 2012.

Liu X, Barizuddin S, Shin W, Mathai CJ, Gangopadhyay S, Gillis KD., Microwell device for targeting single cells to electrochemical microelectrodes for high-throughput amperometric detection of quantal exocytosis., Anal Chem. 2011 Apr 1;83(7):2445-51. Epub 2011 Feb 28., PMID: 21355543

Barizuddin S, Liu X, Mathai JC, Hossain M, Gillis KD, Gangopadhyay S., Automated targeting of cells to electrochemical electrodes using a surface chemistry approach for the measurement of quantal exocytosis., ACS Chem Neurosci. 2010 Jul 1;1(9):590-597.PMID: 21113333

Gao Y, Bhattacharya S, Chen X, Barizuddin S, Gangopadhyay S, Gillis KD., A microfluidic cell trap device for automated measurement of quantal catecholamine release from cells., Lab Chip. 2009 Dec 7;9(23):3442-6. Epub 2009 Sep 30.PMID: 19904414

Sen A, Barizuddin S, Hossain M, Polo-Parada L, Gillis KD, Gangopadhyay S., Preferential cell attachment to nitrogen-doped diamond-like carbon (DLC:N) for the measurement of quantal exocytosis., Biomaterials. 2009 Mar;30(8):1604-12. Epub 2009 Jan 4.PMID:19124153

Bok S, Lubguban AA, Gao Y, Bhattacharya S, Korampally V, Hossain M, Gillis KD, Gangopadhyay S., Electrochemical Properties of Carbon Nanoparticles Entrapped in Silica Matrix., J Electrochem Soc. 2008;155(5):K91-K95.PMID: 18953420

Gao Y, Chen X, Gupta S, Gillis KD, Gangopadhyay S., Magnetron sputtered diamond-like carbon microelectrodes for on-chip measurement of quantal catecholamine release from cells., Biomed Microdevices. 2008 Oct;10(5):623-9.PMID: 18493856

Shu Y, Liu X, Yang Y, Takahashi M, Gillis KD., Phosphorylation of SNAP-25 at Ser187 mediates enhancement of exocytosis by a phorbol ester in INS-1 cells., J Neurosci. 2008 Jan 2;28(1):21-30.PMID: 18171919

Chen X, Gao Y, Hossain M, Gangopadhyay S, Gillis KD., Controlled on-chip stimulation of quantal catecholamine release from chromaffin cells using photolysis of caged Ca2+ on transparent indium-tin-oxide microchip electrodes., Lab Chip. 2008 Jan;8(1):161-9. Epub 2007 Oct 26.PMID: 18094774

Gillis, K.D., and Chow, R.H., "Kinetics of exocytosis in adrenal chromaffin cells," Sem. Cell Develop. Biol. in press, 1997.

Gillis, K. D., Mößner, R., and Neher, E., "Protein kinase C enhances exocytosis from chromaffin cells by increasing the size of the readily releasable pool of secretory granules," Neuron, 16: 1209-1220, 1996.

Gillis, K. D., and Misler, S., "Single cell assay of exocytosis from pancreatic islet B cells," Pfluegers Archiv., 420: 121-123, 1992.

Gillis, K. D., Pun, R.Y.K., and Misler, S., "Single cell assay of exocytosis from adrenal chromaffin cells using 'perforated patch' recording," Pfluegers Archiv., 418: 611-613, 1991.

Published by Dalton Cardiovascular Research Center, 1500 Research Park Drive, Columbia, MO 65211
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