my lab we are attempting to understand how ligand gated ion channels
function at the molecular level. To do this we use x-ray crystallography
to solve receptor structures, and high resolution biochemical and electrophysiological
techniques to study the assembly and activity of native
and mutant ion channels.
Binding of agonists and antagonists independent of gating is measured
using purified water soluble ligand binding cores. We are also interested in the thermodynamics of these proteins. Our goal is to
understand in detail the mechanisms underlying subtype selectivity,
gating, desensitization, and ion selectivity. Our major focus is
the large family of glutamate receptors which mediate synaptic transmission at ≈
60% of synapses in the brain, and which have diverse functional properties which arise from structural diferences in the 18 iGluR gene products.
fellows interested in joining the lab should have strong backgrounds
in biochemistry or protein chemistry, crystallography, or patch
clamp recording techniques. The Lab Members page gives more information
for potential postdocs.