Louis Premkumar, Ph.D.


    About me

    Research Interests:

    My overall long-term interest is to investigate the expression and functions of ion channels in health and disease (channelopathies). My lab is involved in research to understand the molecular mechanisms of pain perception using state-of-the-art techniques. We are studying the role of Transient Receptor Potential (TRP) channels, particularly TRP Vanilloid 1 (TRPV1). TRPV1 is involved in certain modalities of pain and is considered as a potential target for developing analgesics. We use electrophysiology, molecular biology techniques and animal behavioral models to address the role of TRP channels in physiological and pathophysiological conditions. We are keen to understand the genetic variabilities that include single nucleotide polymorphisms leading to altered ion channel function and manifesting as a disease.

    My lab is also interested in the role of TRP channels in functions other than pain. We have recently shown for the first time that TRPA1 is expressed in pancreatic beta cells and causes insulin release, which is independent of ATP-dependent K+ channel block mechanism. We have shown that TRPA1 mediates GLP-1 release from enteroendocrine cells.

    Ongoing research projects include; Potential Use of Resiniferatoxin (RTX) in Chronic Pain Conditions; Role of TRP Channels in Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy; Modulation of synaptic transmission by TRP channels; Role of TRP channels in insulin and GLP-1 secretion.



    Education & training

    Undergraduate Degree
    B.Sc., University of Madras, India - Chemistry
    M.Sc., University of Madras, India - Pharmacology
    Ph.D., Australian National University, Australia - Neuroscience

    Academic Location

    Academic Office

    801 N Rutledge St Springfield, IL 62702
    Mail Code: 9629


    Selected publications:

    1. Samineni VK, Premkumar LS, Faingold CL. (2017) Neuropathic pain induced enhancement of spontaneous and pain evoked neuronal activity in the periaqueductal gray that is attenuated by gabapentin. Pain. 2017 Mar 21.
    2. Premkumar LS.  (2014) Transient Receptor Potential Channels as Targets for Phytochemicals. ACS Chem. Neurosci. 5: 1117-30.
    3. Cao DS, Zhong L, Hsieh TH, Abooj M, Bishnoi M, Hughes L, Premkumar LS. (2012) Expression of Transient Receptor Potential Ankyrin 1 (TRPA1) and its Role in Insulin Release from Rat Pancreatic Beta Cells. PLoS One 7(5):e38005.
    4. Raisinghani M, Zhong L, Jeffry JA, Bishnoi M, Pabbidi RM, Pimentel F, Cao DS, Evans MS, Premkumar LS. (2011) Activation Characteristics of Transient Receptor Potential Ankyrin 1 and its Role in Nociception. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 301: C587-600.
    5. Premkumar LS, Bishnoi M. (2011) Disease-related changes in TRPV1 expression and its implications for drug development. Curr. Topics in Med. Chem. 11: 2192-209.
    6. Premkumar LS. (2010) Targeting TRPV1 as an Alternative Approach to Narcotic Analgesics to Treat Chronic Pain Conditions. AAPS J. 12: 361-370.
    7. Jeffry JA, Yu SQ, Sikand P, Parihar A, Evans MS, Premkumar LS. (2009) Selective targeting of TRPV1 expressing central terminals of spinal cord for long lasting analgesia. PLoS One 15;4(9):e7021.
    8. Premkumar LS, Raisinghani M, Pingle S, Long C, Pimentel F. (2005) Downregulation of TRPM8 by protein kinase C mediated dephosphorylation. J. Neurosci. 25: 11322-11329.
    9. Premkumar LS. (2001) Interaction between vanilloid receptors and purinergic metabotropic receptors: pain perception and beyond.  Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U S A. 98:6537-6539.
    10. Premkumar LS, Ahern GP. (2000) Induction of vanilloid receptor channel activity by protein kinase C.  Nature 408:985-990.
    11. Premkumar LS, Auerbach A. (1996) Identification of a high affinity divalent binding site at the entrance of NMDA receptor channel.  Neuron 16: 869-880.



    Selected Book Chapters:

    1. Bishnoi M, Khare P, Kondepudi KK, Premkumar LS. (2015) Changes in TRP channel expression in acquired diseases “ TRP Channels as Therapeutic Targets: from Basic Science to Clinical Use” Ed.  Szallasi A, Academic Press, Elselvier. Chapter 3
    2. Premkumar LS. (2011) Methods Used for Studying TRP Channel Functions in Sensory Neurons. In: Zhu MX, editor. TRP Channels. Boca Raton (FL): CRC Press/Taylor & Francis; 2011. Chapter 13.