Sensation of environmental stimuli, thought, learning, memory, and other aspects of neuronal communication, hormone secretion and movement all rely on cellular electrical signals. The Brohawn Lab studies life’s electrical system from a molecular and biophysical perspective. The focus of the laboratory is on ion channels, transporters and their regulatory complexes that form gated pathways for ionic traffic across cell membranes. They aim to discover how these membrane proteins work at a detailed mechanistic level and what they do in a biological context. To this end, they utilize a range of approaches including structural biology (X-ray crystallography and cryo-EM), electrophysiology, biophysics, biochemistry, pharmacology and imaging. Their goals are to understand the molecular basis of sensory transduction and electrical signaling and to lay the groundwork for development of new approaches to promoting health and treating disease.
Research Expertise and Interest