Regulation of T-type calcium channels in health and disease: T-type channels play an essential role in depolarization-induced calcium entry into neurons that initiates many cellular events. While T-type channels are of critical importance for neuronal function, it is also apparent that inappropriate expression or dysfunction gives rise to a variety of neurological disorders. We are investigating the intrinsic gating processes, as well as cell signaling pathways that control their activity and trafficking to and from the plasma membrane, and how these regulations are compromised in disease states.
Genetic T-type channel channelopathies: In collaboration with geneticists and physicians, we are investigating the consequence and underlying mechanisms by which genetic mutations in the genes encoding for T-type channels alter channel function to provide structure/function/phenotype information to inherited T-type channelopathies.
Pharmacology: Ultimately, we wish to translate new insights into the development of novel therapeutic avenues.