Wilf Family Cardiovascular Research Institute

David C. Spray, Ph.D.

David C. Spray, Ph.D.David C. Spray, Ph.D.
Professor, Dominick P. Purpura Department of Neuroscience
Professor, Department of Medicine (Cardiology)

Dr. David Spray's research is centered on physiological and cell/molecular biological studies of gap junctions, the intercellular channels that allow cells to directly exchange ions and metabolites. Major projects of the laboratory are attempting to resolve role of gap junctions and extracellular signaling in a mouse model of orofacial pain; how connexin-protein interactions (which result in a dynamic complex that we term the "Nexus”) deliver, assemble and modulate gap junctions in various cell types; the role of gap junctions in stem cell therapy in a mouse model of Chagas disease; and endothelial cell and astrocyte mechanotransduction and cell polarization in a blood-brain-barrier model (with members of the Biomedical Engineering Department, CCNY). full bio>> 

Key Publications

  1. Bejarano E, Yuste A, Patel B, Stout RF Jr, Spray DC, Cuervo AM. Connexins modulate autophagosome biogenesis. Nat Cell Biol. 2014 May;16(5):401-14.
  2. Jasmin, Jelicks LA, Tanowitz HB, Peters VM, Mendez-Otero R, Campos de Carvalho AC, Spray DC. Molecular imaging, biodistribution and efficacy of mesenchymal bone marrow cell therapy in a mouse model of Chagas disease. Microbes Infect. 2014 Nov;16(11):923-35.
  3. Thi MM, Suadicani SO, Schaffler MB, Weinbaum S, Spray DC. Mechanosensory responses of osteocytes to physiological forces occur along processes and not cell body and require αVβ3 integrin. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Dec 24;110(52):21012-7.
  4. Spray DC, Hanstein R, Lopez-Quintero SV, Stout RF Jr, Suadicani SO, Thi MM. Gap junctions and Bystander Effects: Good Samaritans and executioners. Wiley Interdiscip Rev Membr Transp Signal. 2013 Jan;2(1):1-15.
  5. Adesse D, Goldenberg RC, Fortes FS, Jasmin, Iacobas DA, Iacobas S, Campos de Carvalho AC, de Narareth Meirelles M, Huang H, Soares MB, Tanowitz HB, Garzoni LR, Spray DC. Gap junctions and chagas disease. Adv Parasitol. 2011;76:63-81.


  1. RO1NS092466
    The Astrocyte Nexus: Cx43 protein interactions
    Role: MPI (with E. Scemes)
    The overall goal of this grant proposal is to understand how gap junctions in astrocytes control organization of this endfoot complex and thus control blood-brain-barrier integrity.
  2. RO1 NS080153
    (P.I.:J. Rash, Colorado State University)
    The Gateway Hypothesis: A New Framework for Unraveling Diverse Leukodystrophies
    Role: Consortium PI
    This grant investigates the molecular, structural and functional connections between axon and Schwann cells in peripheral neurons. Our is to test the hypothesis that coupling occurs between Cx29 connexon and Kv1 channel in Schwann cell membrane rosettes using electrophysiological methods.
  3. Pilot for Feasibility Award
    NIH – 3A7305
    MeCP2, Gap Junctions and Glia
    The goal of this pilot project is to determine whether miRNA is transferred between cells through gap junction channels or via other mechanisms.
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