Seminar - Chris Ahern

photo of Dr. Chris Ahern
March 26, 2018 - 12:00pm
Location: 
601 Fairchild

Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

Iowa Neuroscience Institute

University of Iowa

Host: Jian Yang

Title: The Power of Small: Atomic Mutagenesis in a Post-Structural Era

Abstract: The Ahern laboratory has a long-standing interest in the pharmacology and function of the voltage-gated ion channels that support electrical signaling in muscle and nerve cells. My laboratory uses chemical biology, protein engineering and biophysics to quantify membrane protein function at high resolution.  Our use of genetic code expansion and the design, synthesis and encoding of unnatural amino acids to rescue ion channel genes harboring nonsense (stop) codons, has yielded several interesting recent discoveries: atomic and subatomic details of the function of ion-channel voltage sensors; new protein-chemical interactions relevant for potassium channel gating; H-bond networks that act as molecular timers in potassium channels; and novel mechanisms of drug interactions with ion channels.  Data will also be discussed related to role main-chain integrity to ion channel function.

Business Office

Department of Biological Sciences
500 Fairchild Center
Mail Code 2401
Columbia University
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Academic Office

Department of Biological Sciences
600 Fairchild Center
Mail Code 2402
Columbia University
1212 Amsterdam Avenue
New York, NY 10027
biology@columbia.edu
212 854-4581