Robert Fairclough's lab studies the structure and function of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. He use anti-AChR monoclonal antibodies; fluorescence spectroscopy; electron microscopic imaging; anomalous X-ray scattering; site specific mutations of AChR expressed in oocytes followed by observing the acetylcholine induced currents; AChR Tb(III) binding studies; and any other trick we can employ to squeeze insights about the operation of this ligand gated ion channel from mother nature. He is also exploring new molecular therapies for treating both autoimmune MG and slow channel congenital MG.
Ph.D., Columbia University, New York, New York, 1977
B.A., Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, 1967
American Association for the Advancement of Science
Honors and Awards
Excellence in Research Award from the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of California, 2003
NIH Predoctoral Fellowship, 1968
Cum Laude, Yale College, 1967
Select Recent Publications
Leete, Chuang AR, Marek MS, Doniach S, Fairclough RH. Redistribution of terbium ions across acetylcholine receptor enriched membranes induced by agonist densensitization. Biophys J. 96:2637-47, 2009.
Fairclough Rh. Recalled to life: resurrection of diffusion-enhanced fluorescence energy transfer. Biophys. J. 91:1443-1144. Epub 2006.
Agius MA, Richman DP, Fairclough RH, and Maselli RA, (Eds.) Myasthenia Gravis and Related Disorders: Molecular Basis for Disease of the Neuromuscular Junction. Ann. NY. Acad. Sci. 998. 2003
Fairclough RH, Agius MA, Gudipati E, Silvian L, Hamaoka B, Beltzner CC, Lin MY, Chuang AR and Richman DP. Agonist-Induced Transitions of the Acetylcholine Receptor. Ann. NY. Acad. Sci. 998:101-113. 2003
Agius M, Richman DP, Fairclough RH, Aarlie J, Gilhus NE, and Romi F. Three Forms of Immune Myasthenia. Ann. NY. Acad. Sci. 998: 453-456. 2003
Agius MA, Maselli RA, Zhu S, Fairclough RH, Lin MY and Ellis W. Rhodamine-labeled alpha bungarotoxin allows visualization of endplates in congenital endplate acetylcholinesterase deficiency (CEAD). Ann. NY Acad. Sci. 841:207-209, 1998.
Fairclough RH, Gudipati E, Lin MY, Twaddle GM, Richman DP, Burkwall DA and Josephs R. A role for a (187-199) in the conversion of agonist binding energy to the opening of the ACh receptor ion channel. Ann. NY Acad. Sci. 841: 87-92, 1998.
Fairclough RH, Twaddle GM, Gudipati E, Lin MY and Richman DP. Differential surface accessibility of a(187-199) in the Torpedo ACh receptor a-subunits. J. Mol. Biol. 282: 317-330.
Fairclough RH, Twaddle GM, Gudipati E, Lin MY and Richman DP. Differential surface accessibility of (187-199) in the Torpedo ACh receptor subunits.J. Mol. Biol. 282: 317-330,1998.
Fairclough RH, Twaddle GM, Gudipati E, Lin MY, Richman DP. Differential Surface Accessibility of d (187-199) in the Torpedo Acetylcholine Recepto and subunits. J. Mol. Biol. 282:317-330, 1998.
Fairclough RH, Twaddle GM, Gudipati E, Stone RJS, Richman DP, Burkwall D and Josephs R. Mapping the mAb 383C epitope to(187-199) of the Torpedo acetylcholine receptor on the three dimensional model.J. Mol. Biol. 282: 301-315, 1998.
Fairclough RH, Twaddle GM, Gudipati E, Stone RJS, Richman DP, Burkwall DA, and Josephs R. Mapping the mAb383C Epitope to d2 (187-199) of the Torpedo Acetylcholine Receptor on the three-dimensional model. J. Mol. Biol. 282:301-315, 1998.
Agius MA, Twaddle GM and Fairclough RH. Epitope spreading in experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis. Ann. NY Acad. Sci. 841:365-367, 1998.
Agius MA, Zhu S and Fairclough RH. Anti-rapsyn antibodies in chronic procainamide-associated myopathy (CPAM). Ann. NY Acad. Sci. 841: 527-529, 1998.
Agius MA, Zhu S, Kirvan CA, Schafer A, Lin MY, Fairclough RH, Oger JJ-F, Aziz T and Aarli JA. Rapsyn antibodies in myasthenia gravis. Ann. NY Acad. Sci. 841: 516-521, 1998.
Agius MA, Zhu S, Lee E-K, Aarli JA, Kirvan C, Fairclough RH and Maselli R. Antibodies to AChR, synapse-organizing proteins, titin, and other muscle proteins in Morvan's fibrillary chorea. Ann. NY Acad. Sci. 841: 522-524, 1998.
Agius, M.A. and Fairclough, R.H. Novel autoimmune targets and cross reactivity in myasthenia gravis. Clinical Immunology Newsletter 18: 16-19, 1998.
Gudipati E, Silvian LJ, Katta V and Fairclough RH. Distance between a-cys 192 of the acetylcholine receptor and rhodamine labeled -bungarotoxin complexed to the receptor.Ann. NY Acad. Sci. 841: 104-107, 1998.
Lin MY, Twaddle GM, Gudipati E and Fairclough RHMeasurement of the dissociation rate constants of a-bungarotoxin from the acetylcholine receptor low and high affinity tubocurarine sites. Ann. NY Acad. Sci. 841: 108-110, 1998.
Lin MY, Twaddle GM, Gudipati E, Richman DP and Fairclough RH. mAb 383C binds to the subunit of the acetylcholine receptor associated with the high affinity tubocurarine site.Ann. NY Acad. Sci. 841: 101-103, 1998.
Richman, D.P., Agius, M.A., Kirvan, C.A., Gomez, C.M., Fairclough, R.H., Dupont, B.L., and Maselli, R.A. Antibody effector mechanisms in myasthenia gravis. Ann. NY. Acad. Sci. 841: 450-465,1998.