Membrane Biology

Research includes:

  • Beta-glucan Synthases
  • Bioenergetics
  • Cell to Cell Communication
  • Cell Wall Synthesis
  • Cellular Energetics
  • Cellulose Synthases
  • Exo/Endocytosis
  • Flip-Flop
  • Glycoprotein Synthesis
  • Glycosyl Transferases
  • Golgi Apparatus
  • Lateral Diffusion
  • Lipid Trafficking
  • Membrane Dynamics
  • Membrane Microdomains
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Membrane-Associated Enzymes
  • Phase Behavior
  • Plant Membranes
  • Plant Polysaccharide Synthesis
  • Protein Trafficking
  • Protein-Lipid Interactions
  • Signaling Platforms
  • Transmembrane Transport

Training Group Mission:

Students in the Membrane Biology training group are educated in the basic and fundamental understanding of cell membranes, their components and how membrane and membrane-associated processes control numerous cellular functions. In addition, students are involved in the transfer of these discoveries into new therapies, biofunctional materials, beneficial agricultural products, and devices for the treatment of human disease. Students work with a multidisciplinary group of faculty from many departments who employ an extensive range of experimental approaches including biochemistry, neurobiology, molecular biology, structural biology, microscopy, biophysical chemistry, analytical and organic chemistry, and engineering. The study of membranes and membrane proteins is a burgeoning and exciting frontier in the life sciences and recent technical advances in the field make significant progress and discovery possible. Students also have the opportunity to interact with other members of the program through seminar courses and research meetings.

Faculty Membership

Research Area

Protein trafficking and membrane transport in relation to the processes of cell polarity establishment and carcinogenic transformation

Neural circuitry in sensory systems, especially auditory neural circuitry Neurophysiology using multichannel recordings, brain slice recordings, auditory evoked potentials How brain circuits change in aging and development How auditory circuits adapt and recover from noise or blast injury Computational models of thalamocortical and auditory circuits.
Cell and developmental biology, membrane trafficking, molecular genetics, cell polarity
Development of small molecules, peptides and peptidomimetics for drug discovery, bionanotechnology, and cellular delivery of therapeutic agents
Membrane biochemistry, biophysics; structure-function of membrane proteins
Molecular biology of arthropod vectors of disease, with an emphasis on vector-pathogen interactions, characterization of arthropod G protein-coupled receptors, and insecticide discovery.
Multidrug resistance in human cancer

Synaptic and dendritic integration in vitro and in vivo, sensory integration, two-photon imaging, optogenetics, sub-cellular patch-clamp recordings, nanotechology, bioelectronics

Understanding the regulation of phospholipase C enzymes in cardiovascular disease and cancer through macromolecular structure determination and functional assays.

Structural biology, membrane proteins, protein folding, protein transport across membrane, protein import and trafficking, infectious diseases, pathogenic bacteria, multi-drug resistant bacteria, Gram-negative bacterial pathogens

Development of novel techniques and their application in addressing important problems at biological interfaces
Regulator of G protein signaling (RGS) proteins regulation by ubiquitin-proteasomal degradation and post-translational, transcriptional and epigenetic mechanisms. RGS protein drug discovery.
1) Ebola virus and Marburg virus assembly and budding from the host cell plasma membrane.
2) Ceramide-1-phosphate and other sphingolipids signaling in cancers.
3) Zika virus and alteration of host cell lipid metabolism.
4) Disovery of new lipid-binding proteins.​
Cytoskeletal function during plant and fungal development and in response to environmental signals
Macromolecular structure and assembly using X-ray crystallography; membrane associated proteins; enzyme structure and function

Nervous system development and regeneration following injury, neuronal growth cone motility and guidance, cytoskeletal dynamics, signal transduction, ROS signaling, neuronal mechanics, advanced live cell imaging in vitro and in vivo

G-protein coupled receptor pharmacology of addiction and neurological disorders
Signaling of G protein-coupled receptors with an emphasis on dopamine receptors and adenylate cyclases

Specialization: pharmacogenomics, ion channels, electrophysiology, induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), neurological diseases (e.g., chronic pain, epilepsy, and autism)

Ernest C. Young Hall, Room 170 | 155  S. Grant Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2114 | 765-494-2600

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