About 30 % of the proteins encoded in the human genome code for transmembrane proteins, highlighting the importance of these macromolecules to human physiology. Our lab focuses on a family of transmembrane proteins known as ion channels. These molecular switches regulate the flux of ions across the otherwise ion-impermeable hydrophobic core of biological membranes. Ion channels play crucial roles in numerous physiological processes, such as neuronal and cardiac excitability. Genetic or acquired dysfunctions in ion channels are the known cause of pain, epilepsy, and cardiac arrhythmias, making them front-line therapeutic targets.
Left: Top down view of a P2X receptor with ATP shown in blue