University of Missouri School of Medicine MU Health School of Medicine

Mark Milanick, PhD

Mark Milanick, PhD


Research Interests

Membrane physiology and biophysics, ion pumps, exchangers and transporters, biosensors, lanthanide luminescence.

There are two major research efforts in our laboratory:

One effort is devoted to determining how proteins located in cell membranes move molecules across the membrane. This includes elucidating some of the mechanisms of transport, determining how changes of the cytoplasmic mileau modulate transport, determining how changes in the rate of transport regulate cell function, and understanding the relationship between protein structure and transporter function. Our studies are currently focused on two transport systems: the plasma membrane calcium pump and the Na/K pump. We have also worked on zinc transporters, sodium/calcium exchanges, and anion exchangers. Ultimately the goal is to integrate this information on the. We use biophysical, bioengineering, biochemical, and optical approaches to studying the relevant physiology and pharmacology of these transport systems, including the development of a molecular mechanistic view of their function and an intergrated view of how regulation of cellular transport related to cell, tissue, organ and organism function and pathophysiology.

Another effort is the development of sensors for molecules of biological interest in collaboration with Sheila Grant in Bioengineering and Josh Millspaugh in Fisheries and Wildlife. We are designing sensors that can be used in vivo for continuous monitoring and also sensors that can be used in the field for monitoring wildlife or at home using saliva, urine, or sweat for measurement of pet or human samples. We are currently developing approaches for the measurement of glucose, cortisol, aldosterone and sex steroids. Our techniques include absorbance, fluorescence, FRET and lathanide luminescence.

Renal System Case Study - Student handout

Professional Background

  • BA degree in physics, Swarthmore College
  • Received Ph.D. in biophysics and theoretical biology, University of Chicago
  • Completed NIH sponsored postdoctoral fellowship, Yale University
  • Joined Department in 1986
  • Past member of editorial board of The American Journal of Physiology
  • member of the editorial board of The Journal of Membrane Biology
  • Fomer secretary/treasurer of the Membrane Biophysics Subgroup of the Biophysical Society
  • former member of the Physiology Study Section of NIH
  • NIH Research Career Development Awardee
  • Research funded by the NIH, AHA, and Marion-Merrill Dow, Inc. including 18 years of NIH funding
  • PI on new NIH translational training grant initiative, "From clinic to bench & back: training clinical biodetectives"

Selected Publications

  • Jennings, M.L. and M.A. Milanick. Membrane transport in single cells. In: Handbook of Physiology: Cell Physiology, J.F. Hoffman, ed. pp. 261-308, 1997.
  • Xu, W.-Y., H.Denison, C.C. Hale, C. Gatto, and M.A. Milanick. Identification of critical positive charges in XIP, the Na/Ca exchange inhibitory peptide. Arch. Biochem. Biophys. 341:273-279, 1997.
  • Xu, W.-Y., B.J. Wilson, L. Huang, E.L. Parkinson, B.J.F. Hill, and M.A. Milanick. Probing the extracellular release site of the plasma membrane calcium pump. AJP - Cell 278:C965-C972, 2000.
  • Ruddock, N.T., Z. Machaty, M. Milanick and R. S. Prather. Mechanism of intracellular pH increase during parthenogenetic activation of in vitro matured porcine oocytes. Biol. Reprod. 63:488-492, 2000.
  • MacDiarmid CW, Milanick MA, Eide DJ. Biochemical properties of vacuolar zinc transport systems of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. J Biol Chem. 2002 Oct 18;277(42):39187-94.
  • Milanick MA, Arnett KL. Extracellular protons regulate the extracellular cation selectivity of the sodium pump.J Gen Physiol. 2002 Oct;120(4):497-508.
  • Hoffman JF, Wickrema A, Potapova O, Milanick M, Yingst DR. Na pump isoforms in human erythroid progenitor cells and mature erythrocytes. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2002 Oct 29;99(22):14572-7.
  • Millspaugh, J. J., B. E. Washburn, M. A. Milanick, J. Beringer, L. Hansen, and T. Meyer. Noninvasive techniques for stress assessment in white-tailed deer. Wildlife Society Bulletin 30 899–907, 2002.
  • MacDiarmid CW, Milanick MA, Eide DJ. Induction of the ZRC1 Metal Tolerance Gene in Zinc-limited Yeast Confers Resistance to Zinc Shock. J Biol Chem. 2003 Apr 25;278(17):15065-72.
  • Ruddock NT, Arnett KL, Wilson BJ, Milanick MA. Chloro(2,2':6',2"-terpyridine) platinum inhibition of the renal Na+,K+-ATPase. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2003 Jun;284(6):C1584-92.
  • Millspaugh, J. J., B. E. Washburn, M. A. Milanick, R. Slotow and G. van Dyk. Effects of heat and chemical treatments on fecal glucocorticoid measurements: implications for sample transport. Wildlife Society Bulletin. 2003. 31:399-406.
  • Helms JB, Arnett KL, Gatto C, Milanick MA. Bretylium, an organic quaternary amine, inhibits the Na,K-ATPase by binding to the extracellular K-site. Blood Cells Mol Dis. 2004 May-Jun;32(3):394-400.


  • Cell transport studies using radioisotopes, colorimetric and fluorescent techniques
  • Protein chemistry including protein modifications with fluorophores
  • Enzyme assays using radioisotopes, colorimetric and fluorescent techniques
  • Fluorescence reasonance energy transfer (FRET)
  • Assay development
  • lanthanide luminescence, including LRET
  • red cell physiology
  • red cell transport measurements
  • molecular modeling with Xiaoqin Zou (Biochemistry)

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