David Ragsdale, PhD

Contact Information
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Email address: 
david.ragsdale [at] mcgill.ca
Hospital title: 
Associate Professor, Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery, MNI
Associate Member, Department of Physiology, McGill University
Member, McGill Centre for Medical Education.

David Ragsdale obtained his B.Sc. (1982) from the University of Illinois in Psychology. He later went on to acquire his PhD (1989) from the University of California, in the Department of Psychobiology.  His postdoctoral work (1990 - 1995) was carried out at the University of Washington in the Department of Pharmacology. 

Ragsdale's previous work focused on the structure and function of membrane ion channels.  More recently, he has been interested in how the brain makes decisions and how our understanding of this process affects our views on moral and legal accountability.  He is currently part of a large, cross-disciplinary project, headed by Ian Gold in the Department of Philosophy, which examines trust, from molecules to social institutions.

Selected publications: 

Ragsdale, D.S., McPhee, J.C., Scheuer, T., and Catterall, W.A. Molecular determinants of state-dependent block of Na+ channels by local anesthetics. Science 265:1724-1728 (1994).

Li, H.-L., Galue, A., Meadows, L., and Ragsdale, D.S. A molecular basis for the different local anesthetic affinities of resting versus open and inactivated states of the sodium channel. Mol. Pharmacol. 55:134-141 (1999).

Magistretti, J., Ragsdale, D.S., and Alonso, A. Direct demonstration of persistent Na+ channel activity in dendritic processes of mammalian cortical neurons. J. Physiol. 521:629-636 (1999).

Meadows, L.S., Malhotra, J., Loukas, A., Thyagarajan, V., Kazen-Gillespie, K.A., Koopman, M.C., Kriegler, S., Isom, L.L., Ragsdale, D.S.* Functional and biochemical analysis of a sodium channel 1 subunit mutation responsible for generalized epilepsy with febrile seizures plus type 1. J. Neurosci. 22:10699-10709 (2002).

Cossette, P., Loukas, A†., LaFrenière, R.G., Rochefort, D., Ragsdale, D.S., Dunn R., Rouleau, G.A. Functional characterization of the D188V mutation in the neuronal voltage-gated sodium channel causing generalized epilepsy with febrile seizures plus. Epilepsy Res. 53:107-117 (2003).

Ragsdale D.S. How do mutant Nav1.1 sodium channels cause epilepsy? Brain Res. Rev. 58: 149-159 (2008).

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