Rice, Heather Ph.D.

Heather Rice, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Contact Information:

Office: BRC1368A

Lab: BRC1366


Mailing address:
975 NE 10th Street, BRC 1368

Oklahoma City, OK  73104

Phone (Office): 405-271-8000 (Extn:47815)



B.S. 2007, University of Oklahoma, Zoology-Biomedical Sciences

Ph.D. 2013, Harvard University, Neurobiology

Postdoctoral Fellowship 2013-2019, VIB-KU Leuven, Belgium

Research Interests:

Alzheimer’s Disease

Amyloid Precursor Protein (APP)

Synaptic Transmission

GABA Receptor Signaling in Neurons and Glia

GABAergic Interneurons

Sushi Domains


The molecular mechanisms regulating the normal function of the Amyloid Precursor Protein (APP) has largely remained elusive despite its central role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Rice recently identified the GABA type B receptor subunit 1a (GABABR1a) as a synaptic receptor for the shed APP ectodomain (sAPP) and revealed a physiological role for sAPP in regulating GABABR1a function to modulate synaptic transmission.


Current work of the lab is aimed at further dissecting the role of APP in specific cell types of the brain and determining the consequences of this signaling on brain circuitry and disease pathways.  The lab aims to exploit this normal function of APP to counteract disease processes and develop novel strategies for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.

Selected Publications:

Rice HC, de Malmazet D, Schreurs A, Frere S, Van Molle I, Volkov O, Creemers E, Vertkin I, Ranaivoson F, Nys J, Comoletti D, Savas JN, Remaut H, Balschun D, Wierda KD, Slutsky I, Farrow K, De Strooper B, de Wit J. (2019) Secreted Amyloid-β Precursor Protein Functions as a GABABR1a Ligand to Modulate Synaptic Transmission. Science. 363(6423). doi: 10.1126/science.aao4827