My research group aims to understand how ion channels and transporters function at the atomic level through the use of structure biology and electrophysiology. Specifically, we seek to elucidate the basic principles of channel regulation and ion selectivity among tetrameric cation channels, the largest ion channel family whose functions are central to nerve excitation, muscle cell contraction, signal transduction, and hormone secretion. Since 2003, we have been at the forefront of ground-breaking research in the ion channel field. Some of our major discoveries include elucidating the structural mechanisms of ion selectivity in potassium and cyclic nucleotide-gated channels; providing insights into the fundamental mechanisms underlying ligand gating in cation channels; defining the structure mechanism of voltage gating in ion channels; and revealing the structural basis of the ion exchange mechanism in the sodium/calcium exchangers.

Awards and Achievements

  • Investigator of Howard Hughes Medical Institute
  • Edith and Peter O’Donnell Awards