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Headshot of Ben Sorum, MD, Ph.D

Ben Sorum, MD, Ph.D

Assistant Professor of Biomedical Sciences

About Me

Dr. Sorum joined CMSRU from the University of California -Berkeley’s Molecular & Cell Biology Department and the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute. There, he secured the K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Award from NIH/NINDS. His research focuses on ion channels and their regulation, aiming to uncover detailed mechanisms of these membrane proteins in physiological and pathological states. Additionally, he investigates the impact of drugs and novel modulators, such as ultrasound, on ion channel behavior.

Born and raised in Selma, California, and Detroit, Michigan, Dr. Sorum attended the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where his interest shifted from hominid anthropology to neuroscience. He attended medical school in Hungary at Semmelweis University, where he specialized in molecular and clinical neuroscience, focusing on ion channel function and modulation. Throughout medical school, Dr. Sorum spent much of his time in neurology and neurosurgery hospitals, participating in functional neurosurgery procedures for pain management, epilepsy, and movement disorders, utilizing techniques such as deep brain stimulation (DBS). 

After medical school, Dr. Sorum pursued a PhD at Semmelweis in ion channel biophysics, while remaining active in the neurosurgery department and teaching medical chemistry, biochemistry, and molecular biology. After obtaining his PhD, he conducted research at the University of Iceland through an EMBO fellowship, collaborating with deCODE on population genetics. 

Returning to the USA after 11 years in Europe, Dr. Sorum worked at UC Berkeley as a postdoc, where he was a leading author of projects such as demonstrating ultrasound's effect on mechanosensitive channels, examining the structure and function of K2P channels, and ion channel drug testing and discovery. He also taught various courses, including anatomy, biochemistry, pharmacology, physiology, and neuroscience.

Dr. Sorum plans to continue his research in the Biomedical Sciences department at CMSRU while also teaching neuro-labs and lectures and facilitating an ALG.