Research Interests

  • Our laboratory is involved in wide range of research projects exploring the structure, function and regulation of different ion channels, particularly channels that are associated with neurological and cardiovascular disorders. Our long-term goal is to target specific ion channels for treating stroke and heart diseases.
  • The current projects include work on: Acid sensing ion channel, Voltage Dependent Anion Channel (VDAC), Gap junction, Pannexin, GABAA receptor and P2X7 receptor. During ischemia, extracellular acidification triggers the opening of calcium permeable acid sensing ion channels (ASIC) in neurons, leading to cell death. We demonstrated that ASIC can be modulated by nitric oxide. Recently we also found a small molecule that can effectively block ASIC and thus protect neurons from ischemic damage.
  • We are studying the effect of ischemia on cardiac gap junctions. We showed that like connexins, pannexins can also form gap junctions with electrophysiological and pharmacological properties, different from connexin containing gap junctions.