The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine
The research in my laboratory is aimed at understanding structure, function and regulation of mammalian ion channels and exploring their therapeutic potential and application in treatment of pain, neurological diseases and cancer. Our current studies are focused on calcium-activated channels, such as the large-conductance, calcium and voltage-activated potassium (BK) channel. With biochemical and electrophysiological approaches, we have identified a new family of ion channel regulatory proteins, designated as BK channel g-subunits. We are studying the regulatory mechanisms, and physiological and therapeutic relevance of these proteins. Additionally, we are keen in investigating the sensing and signaling complexes of ion channels at different structural levels from protein composition, posttranslational modifications to atomic structure in order to identify new ion channel proteins, regulatory mechanisms, and structural basis of ion channel function. Ion channels have long been key therapeutic targets in disease intervention and pharmaceutical drug development. Our research is ultimately aimed at providing new knowledge and strategies in ion channel-targeted drug discovery and therapeutics.
Through a tutorial in my lab, students will be exposed to multidisciplinary techniques and experiences including mass spectrometry-based proteomic analyses, patch-clamp recording (electrophysiology) on cultured cells and tissue slices, site-directed mutagenesis, bacterial and mammalian cell culture, molecular manipulation of protein expression in vitro and in vivo, quantitative real-time PCR, protein expression, purification and structural analyses, and animal behavioral analyses.
Education & Training
Ph.D. - Purdue University - 2004