Amber Pond, PhD

Associate Professor

    About me

    The Pond laboratory studies mechanisms of protein degradation that contribute to skeletal muscle atrophy. 

    Dr. Pond has worked in physiological biochemistry the majority of her career, focusing on ion channels in the brain and striated muscle for the last 27 years. Recently, the lab has focused on a specific K+ channel, ERG1, known to contribute to repolarization of the cardiac action potential. The lab has reported novel detection of an ERG1 alternative splice variant (ERG1A) in the atrophying skeletal muscle of mice and reported that it plays a role in the up-regulation of ubiquitin proteasome proteolysis (UPP; Wang et al., 2006) by producing an increase in abundance of the UPP component E3 ligase, Murf1 (Pond et al., 2013; Hockerman et al., 2014). 

    Our recently published data suggest that ERG1a modulates cellular calcium levels and calpain activity (Whitmore et al., 2020). Because ERG1a could contribute to calcium dysregulation, and this issue is known to produce pathogenesis in numerous muscle pathologies, we think it would be logical to explore the mechanism by which ERG1A affects the UPP and calcium levels and continue to do so. ERG1a also is detected in numerous cancer cells and, although it is not known how it contributes to malignancy, it is possible that ERG1a affects nanoscale membrane characteristics. Indeed, ERG1a may modulate membrane characteristics through regulation of expression and distribution of cytoskeletal elements and/or alterations of the cell’s electro-chemical environment.



    Education & training

    Doctorate Degree
    PhD Mississippi State University
    Graduate Degree
    M.S. Middle Tennessee State University
    Undergraduate Degree
    B.S. Cumberland University
    Post Doctoral Fellow Washington University St. Louis

    Academic Location

    Academic Office

    1135 Lincoln Dr Carbondale, IL 62901-6523
    Mail Code: 6523


    Zampieri S, Sandri M, Cheatwood JL, Balaraman RP, Anderson LB, Cobb BA, Latour CD, Hockerman GH, Kern H, Sartori R, Ravara B, Merigliano S, da Dalt G, Davie JK, Kohli P, Pond AL. The ERG1A K+ channel is more abundant in Rectus abdominis muscle from cancer patients than in that from healthy humans. 2021. Diagnostics. 11(10):1879.

    Anderson LB, Hameed S, Latour CD, Latour SM, Graham VM, Hashmi MN, Cobb B, Dethrow N, Urazaev AK, Ravara B, Davie JK, Albertin G, Carraro U, Zampieri S, Pond AL. MERG1A Protein Abundance Increases in the Atrophied Skeletal Muscle of Denervated Mice, but does not Affect NFB Activity. 2021. Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology. 80(8):776-788. doi: 10.1093/jnen/nlab062.

    Adhikari A, Cobb B, Eddington S, Becerra N, Kohli P, Pond AL, Davie JK. IFN- and CIITA modulate IL-6 expression in skeletal muscle. 2020. Cytokine: X. 2(2):100023.

    Whitmore C, Pratt E, Anderson LB, Bradley K, Latour SM, Hashmi MN, Urazaev AK, Weilbacher R, Davie JK, Wang W-H, Hockerman GH, Pond AL. The ERG1a potassium channel increases basal intracellular calcium concentration and calpain activity in skeletal muscle cells. 2020. Skeletal Muscle. 10:1-15.

    Alaibac M, Albertin G, Ravar B, Kern H, Hofer C, Loefler S, Guidolin D, Rambaldo A, Porzionato A, De Caro R, Zampieri S, Pond AL, Carraro U, Jurecka W. 2019. Two-years of home based functional electrical stimulation recovers epidermis from atrophy and flattening after years of complete Conus-Cauda Syndrome. Medicine (Baltimore). 98(52):e18509.

    Ravara B, Gava P. Talot MJ, Pond AL. 2019. Statistical analysis of master athlete world records: Surprisingly minor gender differences in performance decay with age. Physiotherapy Research and Reports 2:1-6. DOI: 10.15761/PRR.1000125.

    Anderson LB, Latour CD, Khader O, Massey BH, Cobb B, Pond AL. 2019. Ether-a-go-go related gene-1a potassium channel abundance varies within specific skeletal muscle fiber type. European Journal of Translational Myology 29(3):8402. DOI: 0.4081/ejtm.2019.8402.

    Carraro U, Albertini G, Gargiulo P, Ravara B, Piccione F, Zampieri S, Kern H, Pond AL. 2018. Muscle and skin improve by home-based FES and fill-body in-bed gym. Biology, Engineering and Medicine 3(3):1-4. DOI: 10.15761/BEM.1000S1003.

    Albertin G, Hofer C, Zampieri S, Vogelauer M, Löfler S, Ravara B, Guidolin D, Fede C, Incendi D, Porzionato A, De Caro R, Baba A, Marcante A, Piccione F, Gargiulo P, Pond A, Carraro U, Kern H. 2018. In complete SCI patients, long-term Functional Electrical Stimulation of permanent denervated muscles increases epidermis thickness. Neurological Research 40(4):277-282. DOI: 10.1080/01616412.2018.1436877.


    Book Chapters

    Ugo Carraro, Helmut Kern, Sandra Zampieri, Paolo Gargiulo, Amber Pond, Francesco Piccione, Stefano Masiero, Franco Bassetto, Vincenzo Vindigni. Muscle Fiber Regeneration in Long-Term Denervated Muscles: Basics and Clinical Perspectives. 2019. In: Duscher D., Shiffman M. (eds) Regenerative Medicine and Plastic Surgery. pp. 301-309. Springer, Cham. Online ISBN 978-3-030-19962-3.

    Helmut Kern, Paolo Gargiulo, Amber Pond, Giovani Albertin, Andrea Marcante, Ugo Carraro. To Reverse Atrophy of Human Muscles in Complete SCI Lower Motor Neuron Denervation by Home-Based Functional Electrical Stimulation. 2018. In: Xiao J. (eds) Muscle Atrophy. Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology, Vol 1088, pp. 585-591. Springer, Singapore. ISBN 978-981-13-1435-3 (eBook).


    July 1, 2018-December 31, 2021. $200,000 from U.S. Department of Defense for a project titled: “The Modulation of Intracellular Calcium by the ERG1A K+ Channel in Skeletal Muscle.”

    July 2014 – June 2015. Research Seed Grant Award for an application titled: “Investigation into the Role of the ERG1 Potassium Channel in Denervation Atrophy.” This award ($15,000) is funded by the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine.

    June 2009 - May 2013. NIH R03 for a project titled: “Role of Merg1a Potassium Channel in the Onset of Skeletal Muscle Atrophy.” This award ($150,000 total direct) was funded by the NIH National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.

    February 2010. SVM Major Equipment Grant titled: “AKTA Prime Plus fast performance liquid chromatography (fplc) system.” This one time award ($24,000 total) was awarded by the Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine.

    July 1, 2002 - June 31, 2006. Scientist Development Grant for an application titled “Composition and Regulation of the Cardiac IKr Channel.” This award ($260,000 total) was funded through the American Heart Association.

    September 1997 – June 1999. NIH Department of Health and Human Services. Individual
    National Research Service Award Postdoctoral Fellowship (1F32HLO9653-01) for a grant
    application titled “Distribution and Structure of HERG Cardiac Potassium Channel.”