Peter Ronner, PhD

Contact Dr. Ronner

233 South 10th Street
Bluemle Life Sciences Building Room 250
Philadelphia, PA 19107-5541

(215) 503-5190
(215) 923-9162 fax


PhD, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Zurich, Switzerland; Biochemistry - 1978

Expertise & Research Interests

I am interested in the education of students of medicine and pharmacy. I am particularly eager to use results of research into learning to help struggling students succeed.

I wrote the textbook Netter’s Essential Biochemistry, (2017 Elsevier). The book covers the molecular biology and metabolism that students of medicine or pharmacy need to pass their licensing exams.

Since 1995, I have directed a 'biochemistry' course for medical students. Since 2003, this course included molecular biology, cell biology, genetics, metabolism, and a bit of cell physiology. I am currently the Biochemistry Thread Director for the new JeffMD curriculum that relies heavily on case-based learning and was rolled out in August of 2017.

Since 2008, I have directed or co-directed a biochemistry course for pharmacy students. The content of this course is shaped largely by the ACPE Standards 2016 for biochemistry and by the needs of first-year pharmacy students. 

Previously, my research had focused on the mechanisms that control the secretion of insulin and glucagon from the pancreas. Using electrophysiology, I found ATP-sensitive K+-channels (KATP channels) in rat non-beta-islet cells (prepared by flow-cytometry) that were most likely alpha-cells. I also found KATP channels in alphaTC glucagonoma cells. I observed that the sulfonylurea glyburide shows cooperativity when binding to sulfonylurea receptors (SUR), while other inhibitors of SUR do not show cooperativity. I devised a luminometric method to measure free AMP and ADP in creatine-loaded cells and used this method to study the regulation of KATP channels. In previous years, I had devised a method to perfuse the endocrine pancreas (Brockmann body, weight is ~5 mg) of channel catfish in vitro, and I characterized hormone secretion from this organ in response to various fuels. An intriguing, yet unexplained finding is that the perfused Brockmann body secretes insulin and somatostatin in response to 2-deoxyglucose.

As part of my thesis work on the Ca,Mg-ATPase of human erythrocyte membranes, I discovered that the activity of this ATPase depends on the presence of phosphatidylserine.


Adenosine diphosphate; ATP-Sensitive K+-Channel; Biochemistry; Blood Glucose; Book; Brockmann body; Creatine; Diabetes; Education; Electrophysiology; Endocrinology; Glucagon; Instruction (Medical, Pharmacy); Insulin; Luciferase; Pancreatic Islet; Perfusion; Potassium Channel; Radioimmunoassay; Somatostatin; Sulfonylurea


English, German, Swiss-German, some French, some Italian