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

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.


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


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)


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


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–)