Structure and function of ion channels and transporters

Our laboratory is interested in understanding molecular mechanisms of ion channels and transporters that play essential roles in human physiology and disease. How do channels and transporters recognize their specific substrate ions? How do they respond to various stimuli such as chemical ligands, temperature, membrane voltage, and mechanical force? How do they interact with membrane lipids? To answer these fundamental questions, we use multidisciplinary approaches including X-ray crystallography, cryo-electron microscopy, biochemistry, biophysics, and electrophysiology. Dysfunction of these membrane proteins could lead to a variety of diseases such as asthma, hypertension, cancer, heart failure, diabetes, chronic pain, and many more. Our long-term goal is to provide detailed mechanistic understanding of ion channels and transporters, which will offer novel strategies for drug development and better treatment of diseases. The laboratory is in the Department of Cell Biology & Physiology and is a member of the Center for the Investigation of Membrane Excitability Diseases (CIMED).