Antonius M. J. VanDongen
Associate Professor of Pharmacology & Cancer Biology

Ion channels are complex integral membrane proteins that serve many physiological roles. Our primary objective is to understand how ion channels function, at both the molecular and cellular level. For this aim we employ two model systems: drk1 (Kv 2.1), a voltage-gated K channel expressed in the central nervous system and the heart, and the NMDA receptor , a member of the ionotropic glutamte receptor family critically involved in learning and memory. The relationship between structure and function is investigated for these channels using mutagenesis and electrophysiology. The role of the NMDA receptor in synaptic plasticity is studied in hippocampal neurons, using fluorescence microscopy and biochemistry approaches.

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