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Gwendalyn King, PhD

Associate Professor

G King


College of Arts and Sciences
Graduate School
Neuroscience (Master of Science)
Translational Hearing
HLSB - Hixson Lied Science Building - 419

Gwendalyn King, PhD

Associate Professor

I was raised in Loveland, Colorado.  I earned my Bachelor of Science Degree from the Purdue University School of Science in Molecular Biology with research honors.  I conducted undergraduate research to understand why leeches can regenerate their nerve cord but humans cannot regenerate their spinal cord.  I then directly entered the PIBS program at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and joined the Neuroscience Program.  In completing my Ph.D. I earned an F31 fellowsihp from NIH and published several papers on the intracellular protein:protein interactions of the amyloid precursor protein. From there I moved to my first postdoctoral fellowship at Cedar-Sinai Medical Center's Gene Therapeutics Research Inistitute.  I was earned an F32 fellowship from NIH for my work characterizing a combination therapy to treat glioma.  My second postdoctoral fellowship was at Boston University's Biochemistry Department.  There I conducted work to understand the mechanisms of age-related klotho gene expression downregulation. I was earned a K99/R01 NIH award to transition from postdoctoral fellow to tenure-track Faculty.  I moved to the University of Alabama at Birmingham taking my first faculty position in the Department of Neurobiology in the School of Medicine.  There I taught medical, graduate, and undergraduate courses.  I also published papers from the discoveries made in my research lab and mentored undergraduate, post-bac, and Ph.D. students.  I earned several small grants and an R56 from NIH. I am currently a member of the Creighton Biology faculty supporting the interdepartmental Neuroscience Program in every academic direction: service, teaching, and research.  My lab was awarded its first R15 at Creighton in 2020 where we use mouse models of aging to understand age-related change of the brain. Information about my research, past and present can be found at 

Teaching Interests

  • Neuroscience

Research Focus

I am interested in changes that occur in the brain as a result of the normal aging process.  Understanding the breakpoints between normal aging and development of neurodegenerative disease is crucial to developing new therapies to treat and prevent neurodegeneration.  My lab website is :




Associate Professor


  • Journal of Molecular Cell Biology
    Shah/Jiang, A chromatin modulator sustains self-renewal and enables differentiation of postnatal neural stem and progenitor cells.
    12, p. 4-16 2020
  • JCI: Insight
    Xiao/Quarles, FGF23 expression is stimulated in transgenic -Klotho longevity mouse model
    4 2019
  • Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol
    Barnes/Krick, Role of fibroblast growth factor 23 and klotho cross talk in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis
    217, p. L141-L154 2019
  • Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience
    Vo/King, Klotho deficiency affects the spine morphology and network synchronization of neurons.
    98, p. 1-11 2019
  • Eneuro
    Laszczyk/King, FGF-23 Deficiency Impairs Hippocampal-Dependent Cognitive Function
    6 2019
  • Brain Plasticity
    Vo/King, Klotho, the Key to Healthy Brain Aging?
    3, p. 183-194 2018
  • European Respiratory Journal
    Krick/Salathe, Fibroblast growth factor 23 and Klotho contribute to airway inflammation.
    52 2018
  • J Am Soc Nephrol
    Han/Quarles, Cardiovascular Effects of Renal Distal Tubule Deletion of the FGF Receptor 1 Gene.
    29, p. 69-80 2018
  • Neurobiology of Aging
    Laszczyk/King, Klotho regulates postnatal neurogenesis and protects against age-related spatial memory loss.
    59, p. 41-54 2017
  • Sci Rep
    KrickSalathe, Klotho Inhibits Interleukin-8 Secretion from Cystic Fibrosis Airway Epithelia.
    7 2017
  • Neuroscience
    Laszczyk/King, Klotho regulates CA1 hippocampal synaptic plasticity.
    347, p. 123-133 2017
  • Elife
    Adlaf/Overstreet-Wadiche, Adult-born neurons modify excitatory synaptic transmission to existing neurons
    6 2017
  • Am J Hypertension
    Liu/Sun, Differential Regulatory Role of Soluble Klothos on Cardiac Fibrogenesis in Hypertension.
    29, p. 1140-47 2016
  • PLoS One
    Han/Quarles, Conditional Deletion of Fgfr1 in the Proximal and Distal Tubule Identifies Distinct Roles in Phosphate and Calcium Transport. 2016
  • FEBS Lett.
    Han/Quarles, Counter-regulatory paracrine actions of FGF-23 and 1,25(OH)2 D in macrophages.
    590, p. 53-67 2016
  • PLoS Genetics
    Watson/Wilson, Motor and Sensory Deficits in the teetering Mice Result from Mutation of the ESCRT Component HGS.
    11 2015
  • Mol Neurodegener
    Vaden/Wilson, Ubiquitin-specific protease 14 regulates c-Jun N-terminal kinase signaling at the neuromuscular junction.
    10 2015
  • Monoclon Antib Immunodiagn Immunother
    Maltare/King, Development and characterization of monoclonal antibodies to detect klotho.
    33, p. 420-7 2014
  • Age
    Mehi/King, MicroRNA-339 and microRNA-556 regulate Klotho expression in vitro.
    36, p. 141-9 2014
  • J. Biol. Chem.
    Tucker/Abraham, Biochemical and functional characterization of the klotho-VS polymorphism implicated in aging and disease risk. 2013
  • Investigative Ophthalmology Visual Science
    Reish/King, The age-regulating protein klotho is vital to sustain retinal function.
    51, p. 6675-85 2013
  • Brain Res
    Clinton/King, Expression of klotho mRNA and protein in rat brain parenchyma from early postnatal development into adulthood.
    1527, p. 1-14 2013
  • Age
    King/Abraham, Promoter methylation and age-related downregulation of Klotho in rhesus monkey.
    36, p. 1405-19 2012
  • Neoplasia
    Candolfi/Castro, Plasmacytoid dendritic cells in the tumor microenvironment: immune targets for glioma therapeutics. 2012
  • King/Abraham, Identification of novel small molecules that elevate Klotho expression.
    441, p. 453-61 2012
  • Am J Neurodegener Dis
    So/Abraham, Lowering of amyloid beta peptide production with a small molecule inhibitor of amyloid-β precursor protein dimerization. 2012
  • Molecular Therapy
    King/Lowenstein, Combined Flt3L/TK gene therapy induces immunological surveillance which mediates an immune response against a surrogate brain tumor neoantigen.
    19, p. 1793-801 2011
  • Clin Cancer Res
    Mineharu/Castro, Engineering the brain tumor microenvironment enhances the efficacy of dendritic cell vaccination: implications for clinical trial design 2011
  • Current Gene Therapy
    Castro/Lowenstein, Gene therapy and targeted toxins for glioma.
    44, p. 155-80 2011
  • Clin Cancer Res
    Muhammad/Castro, Antiglioma immunological memory in response to conditional cytotoxic/immune-stimulatory gene therapy: humoral and cellular immunity lead to tumor regression. 2009
  • Clin Cancer Res
    Candolfi/Castro, Release of HMGB1 in response to proapoptotic glioma killing strategies: efficacy and neurotoxicity. 2009
  • J. Virol.
    King/Castro, High-capacity adenovirus vector-mediated anti-glioma gene therapy in the presence of systemic antiadenovirus immunity.
    82, p. 4680-4 2008
  • Molecular Therapy
    King/Castro, Flt3L in combination with HSV1-TK-mediated gene therapy reverses brain tumor-induced behavioral deficits.
    16, p. 682-90 2008
  • Neuro-Oncology
    King/Castro, Flt3L and TK gene therapy eradicate multifocal glioma in a syngeneic glioblastoma model.
    10, p. 19-31 2008
  • Molecular Therapy
    Barcia/Lowenstein, One-year expression from high-capacity adenoviral vectors in the brains of animals with pre-existing anti-adenoviral immunity: clinical implications. 2007
  • J Neurooncol
    Candolfi/Castro, Intracranial glioblastoma models in preclinical neuro-oncology: neuropathological characterization and tumor progression. 2007
  • J Exp Med
    Barcia/Lowenstein, In vivo mature immunological synapses forming SMACs mediate clearance of virally infected astrocytes from the brain. 2006
  • J Immunol
    Curtin/Castro, Fms-like tyrosine kinase 3 ligand recruits plasmacytoid dendritic cells to the brain. 2006
  • J Virol
    Xiong/Castro, Regulatable gutless adenovirus vectors sustain inducible transgene expression in the brain in the presence of an immune response against adenoviruses. 2006
  • Current Gene Therapy
    King/Castro, Gene therapy and targeted toxins for glioma.
    5, p. 535-57 2005
  • Cancer Research
    Ali/Castro, Combined immunostimulation and conditional cytotoxic gene therapy provide long-term survival in a large glioma model.
    65, p. 7194-204 2005
  • Molecular Therapy
    Goverdhana/Castro, Regulatable gene expression systems for gene therapy applications: progress and future challenges. 2005
  • Curr Top Med Chem
    Curtin/Castro, Combining cytotoxic and immune-mediated gene therapy to treat brain tumors. 2005
  • Molecular Therapy
    Ali/Castro, Inflammatory and anti-glioma effects of an adenovirus expressing human soluble Fms-like tyrosine kinase 3 ligand (hsFlt3L): treatment with hsFlt3L inhibits intracranial glioma progression. 2004
  • J Neurochem
    King/Turner, X11alpha impairs gamma- but not beta-cleavage of amyloid precursor protein.
    88, p. 971-82 2004
  • Experimental Neurology
    King/Turner, Adaptor protein interactions: modulators of amyloid precursor protein metabolism and Alzheimer's disease risk? 2004
  • Neuroscience
    King/Turner, X11alpha modulates secretory and endocytic trafficking and metabolism of amyloid precursor protein: mutational analysis of the YENPTY sequence.
    120, p. 143-54 2003


  • CURAS Director’s Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship - student Tavian Sanchez


  • Dean's Award for Professional Excellence: Major Advising
    CCAS Student Senate
  • Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Award for Teaching Achievement
    Creighton Student Union
  • Outstanding Service Award
    University of Alabama at Birmingham Graduate in Biomedical Sciences
  • Graduate School Dean's Award for Excellence in Mentorship
    University of Alabama at Birmingham Graduate School