Dr. Wickman is a Professor and Head of the Department of Pharmacology. He received his BA in Chemistry (summa cum laude) from Saint Olaf College in Northfield, MN. Subsequently, he earned his PhD in Molecular Neuroscience (advisor: Dr. David Clapham) from the Mayo Foundation for Biomedical Research in Rochester, MN. Following postdoctoral training at Mayo Clinic Scottsdale (advisor: Dr. Sandra Gendler) and Children's Hospital/Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA (advisor: Dr. David Clapham), he accepted a tenure-track faculty position (Assistant Professor) in Pharmacology at the University of Minnesota in 1999. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 2005, and Professor in 2011. He currently holds the titles of Distinguished University Teaching Professor and Distinguished McKnight University Professor.
Research in the Wickman lab centers on mechanisms controlling the excitability of cells in the heart and brain. Dysregulation of cell excitability contributes to many debilitating and/or life-threatening medical conditions, including cardiac arrhythmias, epilepsy, anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, Down Syndrome, addiction, and pain. The Wickman lab seeks to obtain detailed understanding of molecular mechanisms that regulate cell excitability, so that safer and more effective strategies to treat these medical problems can be envisioned and developed. Investigators in the Wickman lab are currently using approaches in electrophysiology, neuromodulation, genetic manipulation, intracranial pharmacology, cardiac physiology, and behavioral assessments relevant to addiction, anxiety, learning, and pain to understand the physiological and pathophysiological relevance of inhibitory signaling pathways.