Heather L. Montie, PhD | Biomedical Sciences | PCOM Faculty
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Associate Professor of Neuroscience, Physiology & Pharmacology

Heather Montie, PhD, enjoys teaching and mentoring students both in the classroom and in her basic science/translational medicine laboratory. With a background in physiology and neuroscience, Dr. Montie lectures include normal physiology of the gastrointestinal tract, blood coagulation (and pharmacology), the cerebellum and the basal ganglia. She also teaches spinal cord and brain anatomy and the function of ascending and descending spinal fiber tracts. In her laboratory, her students learn about neuromuscular dysfunction and seek to identify therapeutic interventions using various models of disease.


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


Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine program
  • Renal, Endocrine and Gastrointestinal Medicine
  • Hematology and Oncology
  • Foundations of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Medicine
  • Head, Eyes, Ears, Nose and Throat (HEENT)
MS in Biomedical Sciences program
  • Physiology
  • Basis of Medicine
  • Neurosciences


Dr. Montie's research program is focused on the neuromuscular disease, spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA, Kennedy's disease). The androgen receptor (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 on the role of posttranslational modifications of mutant AR and metabolic dysfunctions in disease. Utilizing various 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.

Research Keywords

Androgen receptor, Polyglutamine, Neurodegeneration, Aggregation, Motor neuron, Prostate cancer


  • Member, Kennedy's Disease (SBMA) Association (2004 – present)
  • Member, Society for Neuroscience (2006 – present)
  • Zebrafish Husbandry Association  (2017 – present)
  • Mid-Atlantic Regional Zebrafish Association (2017 – present)