Department of Bio-Medical Sciences - Philadelphia
Assistant Professor of Neuroscience, Physiology & Pharmacology

Heather L. Montie, PhD


Email: heathermon@pcom.edu
Office: 215-871-6361
Research Page

Dr. Montie is very passionate about teaching and mentoring students both in the classroom and in the laboratory. With a background in physiology and neuroscience, Dr. Montie lectures cover GI, thrombosis, cerebellum and basal ganglia physiology. In her laboratory, her students learn about neurodegeneration and cancer using cell and animal models of disease. She is also very interested in mentoring and supporting her students along their career paths.

  • Education

    Postdoctoral Fellowship, Thomas Jefferson University
    PhD, Physiology, Wayne State University, 2005
    BS, Biology, Aquinas College, 2000

  • Courses

    Gastroenterological Sciences (D.O. program)
    Molecular Basis of Medicine (Biomedical Sciences Master's program)
    Cellular and Molecular Basis Medicine (D.O. program)
    Clinical and Basic Neuroscience (D.O. program)
    Neurosciences (Biomedical Sciences Master's program)

  • Research

    Dr. Montie’s research program is focused on androgen receptor (AR) function in two different diseases, spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA, Kennedy’s disease) and prostate cancer. The AR is a nuclear receptor transcription factor that is classically known to govern male sexual development and secondary sexual characteristics, and it is also highly expressed in motor neurons and skeletal muscle. SBMA is an X-linked trinucleotide repeat disorder, and as such, a CAG repeat is expanded in the AR gene, resulting in a polyglutamine repeat expansion in the AR protein. In men, this mutation causes adult-onset weakness and atrophy of limb and bulbar (mouth/throat) muscles, which slowly progresses with age. Dr. Montie’s laboratory is investigating the molecular pathways involved in motor neuron and skeletal muscle dysfunction in SBMA, with a focus upon the role of posttranslational modifications of mutant AR in disease. As the AR plays a critical role in prostate viability and function, it is also a critical mediator of prostate cancer. Dr. Montie’s group has been also studying the role of AR posttranslational modifications in AR function and prostate cancer. Utilizing cellular and rodent models of disease to study these pathways, the overarching goal of Dr. Montie’s research is to identify tangible targets for therapeutic intervention for the treatment of men with SBMA and prostate cancer.

    Research Keywords

    Androgen receptor
    Motor neuron

  • Publications

    Selected Publications

    Chua JP, Reddy SL, Yu Z, Giorgetti E, Montie HL, Mukherjee S, Higgins J, McEachin RC, Robins DM, Merry DE, Iñiguez-Lluhí JA, Lieberman AP. Disrupting SUMOylation enhances transcriptional function and ameliorates polyglutamine androgen receptor-mediated disease. J Clin Invest. 2015 Feb;125(2):831-45.
    doi: 10.1172/JCI73214. Epub 2015 Jan 20. PMID: 25607844

    Hoang DT, Gu L, Liao Z, Shen F, Talati P, Koptyra M, Tan SH, Ellsworth E, Gupta S, Montie H, Dagvadorj A, Savolainen S, Leiby B, Mirtti T, Merry D, Nevalainen MT. Inhibition of Stat5a/b enhances proteasomal degradation of androgen receptor liganded by antiandrogens in prostate cancer. Mol Cancer Ther. 2014 Dec 31.
    pii: molcanther.0819.2014. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 25552366

    Montie HL, Durcan TM. The cell and molecular biology of neurodegenerative diseases: an overview. Front Neurol. 2013 Nov 29;4:194. doi: 10.3389/ fneur.2013.00194.eCollection 2013 (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24348458)

    Montie HL, Pestell RG, Merry DE. SIRT1 modulates aggregation and toxicity through deacetylation of the androgen receptor in cell models of SBMA. J Neurosci. 2011 Nov 30;31(48):17425–17436. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22131404)

    Orr CR, Montie HL, Liu Y, Bolzoni E, Jenkins SC, Wilson EM, Joseph JD, McDonnell DP and Merry DE. An interdomain interaction of the androgen receptor is required for its aggregation and toxicity in spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy. J Biol Chem. 2010 Nov 12;285(46):35567-77. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20826791)

    Montie HL and Merry DE. Autophagy and access: understanding the role of androgen receptor subcellular localization in SBMA. Autophagy. 2009 Nov 3; 5(8): 1194-7. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19770590)

    Montie HL, Cho MS, Holder L, Liu Y, Tsvetkov AS, Finkbeiner S, Merry DE. Cytoplasmic retention of polyglutamine-expanded androgen receptor ameliorates disease via autophagy in a mouse model of spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy. Hum Mol Genet. 2009 Jun 1;18(11):1937-50. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19279159)

    Kayali F, Montie HL, Rafols JA, DeGracia DJ. Prolonged translation arrest in reperfused hippocampal cornu ammonis 1 is mediated by stress granules. Neuroscience. 2005; 134(4): 223-45. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16055272)

    Montie HL, Haezebrouck AJ, Gutwald JC, DeGracia DJ. PERK is activated differentially in peripheral organs following cardiac arrest and resuscitation. Resuscitation. 2005 Sep; 66(3): 379-89. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16029920)

    Montie HL, Kayali F, Haezebrouk AJ, Rossi NF, DeGracia DJ. Renal ischemia and reperfusion activates the eIF2α kinase PERK. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2005 Sep 25; 1741(3): 314-24. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15936177)

    DeGracia DJ, Montie HL. Cerebral ischemia and the unfolded protein response. J Neurochem. 2004 Oct; 91(1):1-8. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15379881)

  • Memberships

    Member, Kennedy’s Disease (SBMA) Association (2004–)
    Member, National Postdoctoral Association (2005–)
    Member, Society for Neuroscience (2006–)
    Member, Society for Neuroscience, Philadelphia Area Chapter (2006–)
    Member, Association for Women in Science (2010–)
    AAAS/Science Program for Excellence in Science (2011–)
    Prostate Cancer Foundation (2012–)
    Prostate Cancer Working Group (Philadelphia) (2012–)
    PCOM Chapter Member, Sigma Xi (2013–)
    American Associate for Cancer Research (2014–)