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Paul F. Worley, MD

Department Affiliations Neuroscience and Neurology
Rank Professor
Office Phone 410-502-5489
Lab Phone
Fax 410-614-6249
SOM Address 905 Huntarian




John Regard 1996 – 2002

Joseph Yuan 1996 – 2003

Shin Kang 1998 – 2004

Richard Cho 1999 – 2006

Jason Shepherd 2002 – 2007

Youn Na 2006 – 2013

Jeff Chen 2007 – 2013

Research Interests

Paul Worley’s laboratory examines the molecular basis of learning and memory. In particular, his laboratory has cloned a set of immediate early genes (IEGs) that are rapidly transcribed in neurons involved in information processing, and that are essential for long term memory. IEG proteins can directly modify synapses and provide insight into cellular mechanisms that support synapse-specific plasticity. For example, Narp is secreted and induces excitatory synapse formation. Homer catalyzes conformational coupling of multi-protein machines involved in calcium signaling. Rheb regulates mTor (target of rapamycin) and protein translation. Arc induces the formation of endosomes that function in trafficking of glutamate receptors. Thus, rapid de novo transcription provides novel insights into the cellular and neural network basis of behavioral plasticity.


  • Steward, O., Wallace, C. S., Lyford, G. L., and Worley, P. F. (1998). Synaptic activation causes the mRNA for the IEG Arc to localize selectively near activated postsynaptic sites on dendrites. Neuron 21, 741-751.
  • Tu, J. C., Xiao, B., Yuan, J. P., Lanahan, A. A., Leoffert, K., Li, M., Linden, D. J., and Worley, P. F. (1998). Homer binds a novel proline-rich motif and links group 1 metabotropic glutamate receptors with IP3 receptors. Neuron 21, 717-726.
  • Guzowski, J. F., McNaughton, B. L., Barnes, C. A., and Worley, P. F. (1999). Environment-specific expression of the immediate-early gene Arc in hippocampal neuronal ensembles. Nat Neurosci 2, 1120-1124.
  • Xu, D., Hopf, C., Reddy, R., Cho, R. W., Guo, L., Lanahan, A., Petralia, R. S., Wenthold, R. J., O’Brien, R. J., and Worley, P. (2003). Narp and NP1 form heterocomplexes that function in developmental and activity-dependent synaptic plasticity. Neuron 39, 513-528.
  • Yuan, J. P., Kiselyov, K., Shin, D. M., Chen, J., Shcheynikov, N., Kang, S. H., Dehoff, M. H., Schwarz, M. K., Seeburg, P. H., Muallem, S., and Worley, P. F. (2003). Homer binds TRPC family channels and is required for gating of TRPC1 by IP3 receptors. Cell 114, 777-789.
  • Kim, S.J., Kim, Yu Shin, Yuan, J., Petralia, R.S., Worley, P.F., and Linden, D. (2003). Activation of the TRPC1 cation channel by metabotropic glutamate receptor mGluR1. Nature Vol. 426(6964): 285-291.