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Michael White

Michael White, PhD


Department: Pharmacology & Physiology


  • PhD in Biochemistry - Brandeis University (1982)

Awards & Honors

  • Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching, Drexel University College of Medicine (2005, 2013-2020, 2022-2023)
  • George B. Koelle Award, Mid-Atlantic Pharmacology Society (2021)
  • Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching (2021)
  • Angelo Pinto Basic Science Educator Award (2014)
  • Alexander Kenny Memorial Lecturer, Department of Pharmacology & Neuroscience, Texas Tech University School of Medicine (2006)
  • MCPHU Graduate Student Government Service Award (1996)
  • Established Investigator, American Heart Association (1991-96)
  • Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow (1987-89)

Michael M. White, PhD, MBA, is a professor in the Department of Pharmacology & Physiology, with a secondary appointment in the Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, at Drexel University College of Medicine. His current educational roles include serving as co-director for the Human Structure and Function 2 course and thread director for the Physiology and Nutrition threads in the Foundations and Frontiers curriculum for MD students. In addition, he teaches in the first-year Biochemistry thread and second-year thread in the Foundations and Frontiers MD curriculum. He also serves as course director for the Medical Physiology and Medical Nutrition courses in the pre-medical and pre-health graduate programs. Dr. White is particularly interested in applications of simulation systems in medical student teaching using the IBX Medical Simulation Center at Drexel.

Research Interests

Ligand-gated ion channels; structure-function relationships; molecular modeling; ligand-receptor interactions


Prior to transitioning to full-time teaching in 2012, Dr. White's laboratory investigated structure-function relationships in ligand-gated ion channels using a combination of molecular biology, biochemistry, and electrophysiology. The bulk of the lab's effort was focused on delineating structural features of the ligand-binding domain of the serotonin type 3 receptor (5-HT3R) and the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (AChR).

In the Media


Selected Publications:

"Expression of a biologically-active conotoxin PrIIIe in E. coli"
Hernandez-Cuebas L, and White MM
Protein Expr Purif. 82:6-10 (2012)

"Role of key aromatic residues in the ligand-binding domain of α7 nicotinic receptors in the agonist action of β-amyloid"
Tong M, Arora K., White MM, and Nichols RA
J Biol Chem 286:34373-34381 (2011)

"Mapping spatial relationships between residues in the ligand-binding domain of the 5-HT3 receptor using 'molecular rulers'"
Nyce HL, Stober ST, Abrams CF, and White MM
Biophysical J. 98:1847-1855 (2010)

"Cholesterol depletion activates rapid internalization of submicron-sized acetylcholine receptor domains at the cell membrane"
Borroni V, Baier CJ, Lang T, Bonini I, White MM, Garbus I, and Barrantes F
Mol. Membr. Biol. 24:1-15 (2007)

"The role of Loop F residues in determining differential d-tubocurarine potencies in mouse and human 5-hydroxytryptamine3A receptors"
Zhang R, Wen X, Militante J, Hester B, Rhubottom HE, Sun H, Leidenheimer NJ, Yan D, White MM, and Machu TK
Biochemistry 46:1194-1204 (2007)

"Pretty subunits all in a row: Using concatenated subunit constructs to force the expression of receptors with defined subunit stoichiometry and spatial arrangement"
White MM
Mol. Pharmacol. 68:365-371 (2006)

"Mapping residues in the ligand-binding domain of the 5-HT3 receptor onto d-tubocurarine structure"
Yan D, Meyer J, and White, MM
Mol. Pharmacol. 70:571-578 (2006)