Lee E Limbird, Ph.D.


As a graduate student, Dr. Limbird engaged in highly clinically relevant research developing new tests to diagnose recent heart attacks in patients post-operatively or with prior heart disease. Her post-doctoral research intentionally redirected her research to a more molecular focus, investigating the mechanisms by which epinephrine and norepinephrine mediate their regulatory effects. These studies continued in her faculty role at Duke and then Vanderbilt Universities, where her laboratory engaged in receptor purification, cloning, and the study of its signaling and trafficking mechanisms at the cellular and then in vivo level, exploiting their genetically modified mice.  Her roles at Vanderbilt also including serving as Chair of the Department of Pharmacology and the first Associate Vice Chancellor for Research.

Now at Fisk, she is pursuing her love of both teaching and mentoring, with a focus on both students’ achieving their highest aspirations and faculty having the resources and encouragement to further their own development and passions. Her teaching includes Biochemistry, Molecular Cell Biology, the Chemistry and Mechanism of Drug Action, and Professional Skills for Graduate Study success. Dr Limbird also is the Director of Fisk’s Minority Access to Research Careers program, which provides tuition and stipend support for Fisk students interested in pursuing PhD degrees to prepare them for biomedically relevant career contributions.   Her role in the School of Graduate Studies includes serving as Interim Dean and a member of the steering committee for the Fisk-Vanderbilt Master’s to PhD Bridge Program, which spans biology, chemistry, and physics ( including interdisciplinary materials science)

Dr. Limbird is also an Adjunct  Professor of Education and Medical Administration  at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.


Surprenant, A., Horstman, D.A., Akbarali, H. and Limbird, L.E.  A point mutation of the a2-adrenoceptor that blocks coupling to potassium but not calcium currents.  Science 257:977-980, 1992.

MacMillan, L.B., Hein, L., Smith, M.S., Piascik, M.T. and Limbird, L.E.  The a2A- adrenoceptor subtype mediates central antihypertensive effects of a2-agonists.  Science 273:801-803, 1996.

Hein, L., Limbird, L.E., Eglen, R.M., and Kobilka, B.K.  Gene substitution/knockout to delineate the role of a2-adrenoceptor subtypes in mediating central effects of catecholamines and imidazolines. Ann NY Acad Sci. 881:265-271, 1999.

Tan, C.M., Wilson, M.H., MacMillan, L.B., Kobilka, B.K., and Limbird, L.E.  Heterozygous Alpha2A-adrenergic Receptor Mice Unveil Unique Therapeutic Benefits of Partial Agonists.  Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., 99(19):12471-6, 2002.

Wang, Q., Zhao, J., Brady, A.E., Feng, J., Allen, P.B., Greengard, P., and Limbird, L.E.  Spinophilin Blocks Arrestin Actions in Vitro and in Vivo at G Protein-Coupled Receptors.  Science, 304:1940-4, 2004.

Limbird, L. E. The receptor concept: A continuing evolution.  Molecular Interventions 4: 326-336, 2005.

Limbird LE. Historical perspective for understanding of adrenergic receptors.
Current Topics in Membrane Biology 67: 1-17, 2011.

Lee Limbird Lee E Limbird, Ph.D.
Professor of Biochemistry

BS in Chemistry , College of Wooster, Wooster, Ohio  
PhD in Biochemistry, University of North Carolina
Postdoctoral Research at Duke University with Robert J Lefkowitz

305 DuBois Hall
1000 17th Ave. N.
Nashville, TN 37208