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Donald Arnold

Professor of Biological Sciences

Contact Information
E-mail: darnold@usc.edu
Phone: (213) 821-1266
Office: RRI 204B

Personal Website


  • B.A. , University of Toronto, 1/1986
  • Ph.D. , Johns Hopkins University, 9/1992

  • Academic Appointment, Affiliation, and Employment History

    Tenure Track Appointments
    • Associate Professor, University of Southern California, 05/10/2007-  
    • Assistant Professor, University of Southern California, 10/01/1999-05/09/2007  
    PostDoctoral Appointments
    • Post-Doctoral Fellow, Harvard University, 03/01/1997-09/30/1999  
    • Post-Doctoral Fellow, Rockefeller University, 09/01/1992-02/28/1997  

    Description of Research

    Summary Statement of Research Interests
    Professor Arnold studies how ion channels are targeted to specific subcellular locations in neurons and how electrical activity can modulate that targeting. The physiological properties of a neuron are dependent not only on the properties of ion channels that they expresse, but also on their spatial distributions within that neuron. Little is known about how neurons maintain unique and often complex subcellular patterns of expression for each ion channel. Arnold uses biolistic transfection, confocal microscopy, cellular and molecular biology methods in his work on ion channels in neuron's synapse, axon and dendrite. His lab seeks to answer the following questions: What are the specific protein motifs on an ion channel that specify localization at the axon vs. the dendrite, or at sites that are postsynaptic to one input but not to another? How does electrical stimulation of a specific synapse affect ion channel expression at that synapse? What are the molecular motors that mediate transport of ion channels?
    Research Keywords
    brain, cell, neurobiology, ion channel, neuron, confocal microscopy, membranes & transport
    Research Specialties

    Funded Research

    Contracts and Grants Awarded
    • Dynamic mapping of the complete synaptome using recombinant probes (NIH), Don B. Arnold, Scott Fraser, Carl Kesselman, $9,700,000, 08/14/2014-08/14/2019  
    • Recombinant antibodies for cytoplasmic, nuclear and transmembrane proteins (NIH), Don B. Arnold, $1,319,250, 08/14/2014-08/14/2018  
    • Molecular probes to visualize endogenous synaptic proteins in vivo (NIH), Don B. Arnold, $1,793,750, 05/01/2013-04/30/2018  
    • Probing and controlling single neuron synaptic function in the brain with light, intrabodies and sen (Human Frontiers Science Program), Don B. Arnold, Paul De Koninck, Oliver Griesbeck, $1,050,000, 08/01/2014-07/31/2017  
    • Ablating Intrabodies – Tools for Direct Ablation of Endogenous Proteins (McKnight Foundation), Don B. Arnold, $200,000, 08/01/2012-07/31/2015  
    • Subcellular Localization of Neuronal Ion Channels (NINDS/NIH), Don B. Arnold, $1,417,500, 07/01/2010-06/30/2014  


    Journal Article
    • Lewis, T. L., Mao, T., Arnold, D. B. (2011). A role for Myosin VI in localization of axonal proteins. PLoS Biology. Vol. 9
    • Arnold, D. B. (2009). Actin and microtubule-based cytoskeletal cues direct polarized targeting of proteins in neurons. Science Signaling. Vol. 2 (83)
    • Lewis, Jr., T. L., Mao, T., Svoboda, K., Arnold, D. B. (2009). Myosin-dependent targeting of transmembrane proteins to neuronal dendrites. Nature Neuroscience. Vol. 12 (5), pp. 568-76.
    • Arnold, D. B., Rivera, J., Chu, P. (2007). The role of Kif5B in Axonal Localization of Kv1 K(+) channels. Europian Journal of Neuroscience. pp. 136-146.
    • Chu, P., Rivera, J., Arnold, D. B. (2006). A role for Kif17 in transport of Kv4.2. Journal of Biological Chemistry. Vol. 281, pp. 365-373.
    • Rivera, J., Chu, P., Arnold, D. B. (2005). The T1 domain of Kv1.3 mediates intracellular targeting to axons. European Journal of Neuroscience/Blackwell. Vol. (22), pp. p. 1853-62.
    • Arnold, D. B. (2003). Rivera, J. F., Ahmad, S., Quick, M. W., Liman, E. R., and Arnold, D. B. Nature Neuroscience.
    • Arnold, D. B. (1999). Arnold DB, Clapham DE Molecular determinants for subcellular localization of PSD-95 with an interacting K+ channel. Neuron 23(1):149-57 (1999). Neuron.

    Honors and Awards

    • McKnight Technological Innovations in Neuroscience, 2011-2012   
    • Career Development Award, 2004  
    • NIH/NSF Career Development Award, Independent Scientist Award, National Institute of Mental Health, 2004  

  • Department of Biological Sciences
  • University of Southern California
  • Allan Hancock Foundation Building
  • Los Angeles, CA 90089-0371