School of Medicine
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Professor of Molecular and Cellular Physiology, of Neurology, of Photon Science and, by courtesy, of Structural Biology
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsOne of Axel Brunger's major goals is to decipher the molecular mechanisms of synaptic neurotransmitter release by conducting imaging and single-molecule/particle reconstitution experiments, combined with near-atomic resolution structural studies of the synaptic vesicle fusion machinery.
William R. Kenan Jr. Professor and Professor of Molecular and Cellular Physiology
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsSynthesis, functionalization and applications of nanoparticle bioprobes for molecular cellular in vivo imaging in biology and biomedicine. Linear and nonlinear difference frequency mixing ultrasound imaging. Lithium metal-sulfur batteries, new approaches to electrochemical splitting of water. CO2 reduction, lithium extraction from salt water
Associate Professor of Computer Science and, by courtesy, of Molecular and Cellular Physiology and of Structural Biology
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsMy lab’s research focuses on computational biology, with an emphasis on 3D molecular structure. We combine two approaches: (1) Bottom-up: given the basic physics governing atomic interactions, use simulations to predict molecular behavior; (2) Top-down: given experimental data, use machine learning to predict molecular structures and properties. We collaborate closely with experimentalists and apply our methods to the discovery of safer, more effective drugs.
Associate Professor of Molecular and Cellular Physiology
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsWe are interested in the structure, dynamics and function of eukaryotic transport proteins mediating ions and major nutrients crossing the membrane, the kinetics and regulation of transport processes, the catalytic mechanism of membrane embedded enzymes and the development of small molecule modulators based on the structure and function of membrane proteins.
Younger Family Professor and Professor of Structural Biology
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsStructural and functional studies of transmembrane receptor interactions with their ligands in systems relevant to human health and disease - primarily in immunity, infection, and neurobiology. We study these problems using protein engineering, structural, biochemical, and combinatorial biology approaches.
Miriam B. Goodman
Mrs. George A. Winzer Professor of Cell Biology
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsWe study the molecular events that give rise to the sensation of touch and temperature in C. elegans. To do this, we use a combination of quantitative behavioral analysis, genetics, in vivo electrophysiology, and heterologous expression of ion channels. We also collaborate with Pruitt's group in Mechanical Engineering to develop and fabricate novel devices for the study of sensory transduction.
Professor of Neurology and, by courtesy, of Molecular and Cellular Physiology
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsWe are interested in the neuronal mechanisms that underlie synchronous oscillatory activity in the thalamus, cortex and the massively interconnected thalamocortical system. Such oscillations are related to cognitive processes, normal sleep activities and certain forms of epilepsy. Our approach is an analysis of the discrete components (cells, synapses, microcircuits) that make up thalamic and cortical circuits, and reconstitution of components into in silico computational networks.
Hélène Irwin Fagan Chair of Cardiology
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsStructure, function and physiology of adrenergic receptors.
Professor of Molecular and Cellular Physiology
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsWe study molecular mechanisms of calcium signaling with a focus on store-operated CRAC channels and their essential roles in T cell development and function. Currently we aim to define the molecular mechanism for CRAC channel activation and the means by which calcium signal dynamics mediate specific activation of transcription factors and T-cell genes during development.
Daniel V. Madison
Associate Professor of Molecular and Cellular PhysiologyOn Partial Leave from 07/15/2021 To 12/31/2021
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsOur underlying forms of activity-dependent synaptic plasticity such as long-term potentiation and long-term depression, and in particular the function and plasticity of Parvalbumin-containing interneurons in neocortex. In the past few years, we have used a combinatorial approach to comparing physiological and anatomical plasticity-induced changes in synapses using electrode recording and Array Tomography in the same neurons.
Associate Professor of Molecular and Cellular Physiology
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsMolecular mechanisms of ion chnanels & transporters studied by integration of structural and electrophysiological methods.
Lucy Erin O'Brien
Associate Professor of Molecular and Cellular Physiology
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsMany adult organs tune their functional capacity to variable levels of physiologic demand. Adaptive organ resizing breaks the allometry of the body plan that was established during development, suggesting that it occurs through different mechanisms. Emerging evidence points to stem cells as key players in these mechanisms. We use the Drosophila midgut, a stem-cell based organ analogous to the vertebrate small intestine, as a simple model to uncover the rules that govern adaptive remodeling.
Richard J. Reimer, MD
Associate Professor of Neurology and, by courtesy, of Molecular and Cellular Physiology
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsReimer Lab interests
A primary interest of our lab is to understand how nerve cells make and recycle neurotransmitters, the small molecules that they use to communicate with each other. In better defining these processes we hope to achieve our long-term goal of identifying novel sites for treatment of diseases such as epilepsy and Parkinson Disease. In our studies on neurotransmitter metabolism we have focused our efforts on transporters, a functional class of proteins that move neurotransmitters and other small molecules across membranes in cells. Transporters have many characteristics that make them excellent pharmacological targets, and not surprisingly some of the most effective treatments for neuropsychiatric disorders are directed at transporters. We are specifically focusing on two groups of transporters vesicular neurotransmitter transporters that package neurotransmitters into vesicles for release, and glutamine transporters that shuttle glutamine, a precursor for two major neurotransmitters glutamate and GABA, to neurons from glia, the supporting cells that surround them. We are pursuing these goals through molecular and biochemical studies, and, in collaboration with the Huguenard and Prince labs, through physiological and biosensor based imaging studies to better understand how pharmacological targeting of these molecules will influence neurological disorders.
A second interest of our lab is to define mechanism underlying the pathology of lysosomal storage disorders. Lysosomes are membrane bound acidic intracellular organelles filled with hydrolytic enzymes that normally function as recycling centers within cells by breaking down damaged cellular macromolecules. Several degenerative diseases designated as lysosomal storage disorders (LSDs) are associated with the accumulation of material within lysosomes. Tay-Sachs disease, Neimann-Pick disease and Gaucher disease are some of the more common LSDs. For reasons that remain incompletely understood, these diseases often affect the nervous system out of proportion to other organs. As a model for LSDs we are studying the lysosomal free sialic acid storage disorders. These diseases are the result of a defect in transport of sialic acid across lysosomal membranes and are associated with mutations in the gene encoding the sialic acid transporter sialin. We are using molecular, genetic and biochemical approaches to better define the normal function of sialin and to determine how loss of sialin function leads to neurodevelopmental defects and neurodegeneration associated with the lysosomal free sialic acid storage disorders.
Edward C. and Amy H. Sewall Professor in the School of Medicine and Professor, by courtesy, of Molecular and Cellular Physiology
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsThe auditory sensory cell, the hair cell, detects mechanical stimulation at the atomic level and conveys information regarding frequency and intensity to the brain with high fidelity. Our interests are in identifying specializations associated with mechanotransduction and synaptic transmission leading to the amazing sensitivities of the auditory system. We are also interested in the developmental process, particularly in how development gives insight into repair and regenerative mechanisms.
Professor of Molecular and Cellular Physiology, of Structural Biology and of Photon Science
BioThe Skiniotis laboratory seeks to resolve structural and mechanistic questions underlying biological processes that are central to cellular physiology. Our investigations employ primarily cryo-electron microscopy (cryoEM) and 3D reconstruction techniques complemented by biochemistry, biophysics and simulation methods to obtain a dynamic view into the macromolecular complexes carrying out these processes. The main theme in the lab is the structural biology of cell surface receptors that mediate intracellular signaling and communication. Our current main focus is the exploration of the mechanisms responsible for transmembrane signal instigation in cytokine receptors and G protein coupled receptor (GPCR) complexes.
Stephen J Smith
Professor of Molecular and Cellular Physiology, Emeritus
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsResearch in the Smith Laboratory addresses basic mechanisms and and disorders of brain function. Present efforts are focused on the development and application of new proteomic imaging methods to explore the circuit and molecular architectures of memory storage and retrieval in cerebral cortex.
Avram Goldstein Professor in the School of Medicine and Professor, by courtesy, of Neurology and of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsInformation transfer at synapses mediates information processing in brain, and is impaired in many brain diseases. Thomas Südhof is interested in how synapses are formed, how presynaptic terminals release neurotransmitters at synapses, and how synapses become dysfunctional in diseases such as autism or Alzheimer's disease. To address these questions, Südhof's laboratory employs approaches ranging from biophysical studies to the electrophysiological and behavioral analyses of mutant mice.
George D. Smith Professor, Emeritus
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsWe study synaptic communication between brain cells with the goal of understanding neuronal computations and memory mechanisms. Main areas of focus include: presynaptic calcium channels, mechanisms of vesicular fusion and recycling. Modulation of synaptic strength through changes in postsynaptic receptors and dendritic morphology. Signaling that links synaptic activity to nuclear transcription and local protein translation. Techniques include imaging, electrophysiology, molecular biology.