Dr. Kamm’s research at UT Southwestern involves aspects of muscle biology and cell motility. In studies of vascular, airway and visceral smooth muscle she has concentrated on relating mechanical events of contraction and relaxation to the generation of biochemical intermediates that regulate contractility. Smooth muscle contraction and aspects of cell motility such as cytokinesis and locomotion result from the action of the motor protein myosin II on the actin cytoskeleton. Smooth and non-muscle isoforms of myosin II are regulated by phosphorylation of their regulatory light chains, owing in part or whole to the activity of calcium/calmodulin-dependent myosin light chain kinase (MLCK).

A current focus of the laboratory is on inherited mutations in human smooth muscle contractile proteins, myosin, actin and MLCK, that lead to thoracic aortic aneurysms and dissections, and in the case of certain actin mutations, stroke and coronary artery disease.  Mouse models are used to investigate effects of mutations on vascular contractile properties in the setting of high blood pressure, a known risk factor for aneurysm formation.  Patient dermal fibroblasts are used to probe effects of actin mutations on motile and contractile functions of cells.   


Graduate School
Stephens College (1972), Biology
Stephens College (1972), Biology
Graduate School
University of Missouri-Columbi (1977), Physiology

Research Interest

  • Non-muscle cell motility
  • Regulation of contractile proteins
  • Smooth, skeletal and cardiac muscle physiology


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Constitutive Phosphorylation of Cardiac Myosin Regulatory Light Chain in vivo.
Chang AN, Battiprolu PK, Cowley PM, Chen G, Gerard RD, Pinto JR, Hill JA, Baker AJ, Kamm KE, Stull JT J. Biol. Chem. 2015 Mar
In vivo roles for myosin phosphatase targeting subunit-1 phosphorylation sites T694 and T852 in bladder smooth muscle contraction.
Chen CP, Chen X, Qiao YN, Wang P, He WQ, Zhang CH, Zhao W, Gao YQ, Chen C, Tao T, Sun J, Wang Y, Gao N, Kamm KE, Stull JT, Zhu MS J. Physiol. (Lond.) 2014 Nov
MYPT1 Regulates the Contraction and Relaxation of Vascular Smooth Muscle and Maintains Blood Pressure.
Qiao YN, He WQ, Chen CP, Zhang CH, Zhao W, Wang P, Zhang L, Wu YZ, Yang X, Peng YJ, Gao JM, Kamm KE, Stull JT, Zhu MS J. Biol. Chem. 2014 Jun
Constitutive phosphorylation of myosin phosphatase targeting subunit-1 in smooth muscle.
Tsai MH, Chang AN, Huang J, He W, Sweeney HL, Zhu M, Kamm KE, Stull JT J. Physiol. (Lond.) 2014 May
Activation of MRTF-A-dependent gene expression with a small molecule promotes myofibroblast differentiation and wound healing.
Velasquez LS, Sutherland LB, Liu Z, Grinnell F, Kamm KE, Schneider JW, Olson EN, Small EM Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2013 Oct 110 42 16850-5
Altered Contractile Phenotypes of Intestinal Smooth Muscle in Mice Deficient in Myosin Phosphatase Target Subunit 1.
He WQ, Qiao YN, Peng YJ, Zha JM, Zhang CH, Chen C, Chen CP, Wang P, Yang X, Li CJ, Kamm KE, Stull JT, Zhu MS Gastroenterology 2013 Mar
Signaling through Myosin Light Chain Kinase in Smooth Muscles.
Gao N, Huang J, He W, Zhu M, Kamm KE, Stull JT J. Biol. Chem. 2013 Jan
The effects of neuregulin on cardiac Myosin light chain kinase gene-ablated hearts.
Chang AN, Huang J, Battiprolu PK, Hill JA, Kamm KE, Stull JT PLoS ONE 2013 8 6 e66720
Signalling to contractile proteins by muscarinic and purinergic pathways in neurally stimulated bladder smooth muscle.
Tsai MH, Kamm KE, Stull JT J. Physiol. (Lond.) 2012 Oct 590 Pt 20 5107-21
Rare, nonsynonymous variant in the smooth muscle-specific isoform of myosin heavy chain, MYH11, R247C, alters force generation in the aorta and phenotype of smooth muscle cells.
Kuang SQ, Kwartler CS, Byanova KL, Pham J, Gong L, Prakash SK, Huang J, Kamm KE, Stull JT, Sweeney HL, Milewicz DM Circ. Res. 2012 May 110 11 1411-22

Honors & Awards

  • UT Regents' Outstanding Teaching Award
  • Member, Southwestern Academy of Teachers
  • Councilor, Biophysical Society
  • New Investigator Award, NIH
  • National Research Service Award
  • A.B. cum laude, Stephens College

Professional Associations/Affiliations

  • American Physiological Society
  • Biophysical Society
  • Member Graduate Program in Integrative Biology