Headshot photo of Swetha Murthy, Ph.D.

Swetha Murthy, Ph.D.

  • Assistant Professor, Vollum Institute
  • Assistant Scientist, Vollum Institute
  • Neuroscience Graduate Program, School of Medicine


Swetha Murthy earned her B.S. from Bangalore University in India. She received her Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the State University of New York, Buffalo in 2012. Under the guidance of Gabriela Popescu she studied gating mechanism of NMDA receptors for her doctoral research. She trained as a postdoctoral fellow with Ardem Patapoutian at Scripps Research where she studied the functional and physiological characterization of mechanically activated ion channels. Murthy joined the Vollum Institute as assistant scientist in 2019.

Touch or pain sensation, muscle contraction, and blood pressure regulation are just some biological processes that rely on the ability of cells and tissues to sense mechanical force. The process of converting mechanical stimuli into biological signals is called mechanotransduction and is mainly accomplished by mechanically activated (MA) ion channels and receptors. Despite its importance, the molecular underpinnings of many mechanotransduction-mediated processes and diseases are poorly understood. The overall research goal of the Murthy Lab is to define how MA ion channels detect and respond to physical stimuli, and understand how this response governs mammalian physiology. This molecular and physiological characterization of MA ion channels is vital to probe their function in vivo, and will further our understanding of mechanotransduction.

Education and training

    • B.S., 2005, Bangalore University
    • Ph.D., 2012, State University of New York at Buffalo

Areas of interest

  • mechanotransduction
  • ion channels
  • electrophysiology

Honors and awards

  • OHSU-Silver Family Faculty Excellence and Innovation Award, 2021
  • NIH Director's New Innovator Award, 2021–2026



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