Research

Channels, receptors and transporters

Understanding the molecular basis of membrane protein function in electrically excitable cells is a main focus of neuroscience. Research interests are far-ranging and include mechanism of transcription, replication and recombination, signal transduction, membrane proteins and characterization of macromolecular machines. This dynamic, interdisciplinary group combines a broad spectrum of techniques including structural and computational biology, cryotransmission electron microscopy, cellular and molecular biology, and genetics to explore how membranes transduce signals and transport molecules in order to maintain cell homeostasis in health and disease.

Hamid Akbarali, Ph.D.
Ion channels in gastrointestinal smooth muscle and neurons

Clive M. Baumgarten, Ph.D.
Understanding the electrical activity of the heart at the cell, membrane and channel level

Darlene H. Brunzell, Ph.D.
Nicotinic acetylcholine receptor contributions to etiology of drug abuse, mental illness and aging

Severn Ben Churn, Ph.D.
Signal transduction systems that modulate neuronal excitability, synaptic strength and receptor function; calcium-regulated mechanisms that modulate neuronal excitability; receptor function in prolonged status epilepticus

Paul B. Fisher, M.Ph., Ph.D.
Role and regulation of glutamate transport in neurodegeneration and malignant glioma development and pathogenesis

Robert J. DeLorenzo, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H.
Neurochemical and electrophysiological basis of epilepsy and stroke

John R. Grider, Ph.D. 
Identification of neurotransmitters released from neurons of the enteric nervous system and their role in coordinating contraction and relaxation of the gut smooth muscle

Kurt F. Hauser, Ph.D.
Glial biology; role of glia in the pathobiology of neuroAIDS and in the CNS response to drug abuse

A. Rory McQuiston, Ph.D.
Forebrain control of hippocampal inhibitory interneuron function; how the hippocampal network is altered in HIV-1 associated dementia and chronic use of drugs of abuse

Gretchen N. Neigh, Ph.D.
Steroid receptor biology; transcription factor interactions

I. Scott Ramsey, Ph.D.
Voltage-dependent proton-selective channel Hv1 and calcium-permeable transient receptor potential (TRP) ion channels

Carmen Sato-Bigbee, Ph.D.
Regulation of oligodendrocyte differentiation and myelin formation during brain development; mechanisms of demyelination/remyelination in multiple sclerosis; perinatal opioid exposure and central nervous development

Fan Zhang, M.D., Ph.D.
Role of chemokine receptors and their interacting proteins in Alzheimer’s disease pathogenesis

Lei Zhou, Ph.D.
Structure, dynamics, and function of cyclic-nucleotide gated (CNG) channel and hyperpolarization-activated cyclic-nucleotide regulated (HCN) channel