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Baron Chanda, PhD, joins Department of Anesthesiology

Baron Chanda, PhD

The Department of Anesthesiology extends a warm welcome to Baron Chanda, PhD, who has joined Washington University School of Medicine as Professor of Anesthesiology with secondary appointments in the Departments of Biochemistry and Neuroscience.

Dr. Chanda comes to the department with a rich research background focused on understanding ion channel function in a physiological context. He is also developing and adopting new technologies to study the mechanistic underpinnings of ion channel function.

Dr. Chanda earned his bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from the University of Delhi, a master’s degree in biotechnology from the University of Pune, and his PhD at the National Center for Biological Sciences, all in India.

From 2000 to 2006, he conducted postdoctoral research, including foundational work on mechanisms of gating of sodium and potassium channels using the newly developed voltage-clamp fluorometry, with Dr. Francisco Bezanilla at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Prior to joining Washington University, Dr. Chanda enjoyed a productive 14 years at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he began his faculty career in 2006, rising through the ranks to become a tenured Professor. He is recognized as a true leader in his field, having been appointed as Chair of the Membrane Biophysics Subgroup of the Biophysical Society, and as the 2018 SGP Distinguished Lecturer at the Annual Biophysical Society meeting. For his scientific accomplishments, Dr. Chanda was recently awarded the NINDS Outstanding Investigator award (R35) which funds his research program through 2028.

“Baron Chanda is a world leader in the study of ion channels and their role in cellular signaling,” said the department’s Vice Chair for Research, Robert W. Gereau IV, PhD.

“His research interests are an ideal fit for the Division of Basic Research in our department, which has a rich history of leading research in ion channel function and biophysics. Furthermore, his strong commitment to mentoring and the education of his trainees will strengthen our education mission, providing rich training opportunities for students, residents, and fellows in the department. We are delighted to have him join us here in St. Louis.”

In a recent development, Dr. Chanda accepted an invitation to serve as chairperson of the Biophysics of Neural Systems (BPNS) Study Section, Center for Scientific Review at the National Institutes of Health. The BPNS Study Section reviews applications on signal transduction in nerve, muscle, and other excitable cells with the primary focus on the structure and function of the proteins and transducers themselves. Members are selected based on their demonstrated competence and achievement in their scientific discipline as evidenced by the quality of research accomplishments, publications in scientific journals, and other significant scientific activities, achievements, and honors. His appointment will run for two years, beginning July 1, 2020.

While his scientific approach is rooted in reductionism, Dr. Chanda’s research aims to gain a comprehensive understanding of ion channel function in a physiological context. He is also active in the development and adoption of new technologies to study mechanistic underpinnings of ion channel function.

Please join us in welcoming Dr. Chanda to the department!

Robert W. Gereau IV, PhD
Vice Chair for Research
Dr. Seymour and Rose T. Brown Professor of Anesthesiology
Director, Washington University Pain Center

Jose Moron-Concepcion, PhD
Professor of Anesthesiology, Neuroscience and Psychiatry
Interim Chief, Division of Basic Research
Washington University Pain Center

Michael S. Avidan, MBBCh, FCASA
Dr. Seymour and Rose T. Brown Professor of Anesthesiology
Head of the Department of Anesthesiology
Anesthesiologist-in-Chief, Barnes-Jewish Hospital