Principle Investigator: Xiaodong LIU, Ph.D. (刘晓冬)
Welcome to the X-Lab!
Our research has been in the field of ion channels, focusing on subthreshold or non-spiking behaviors and favoring concepts and methods from synthetic electrophysiology. Major interests are on in-depth biophysical mechanisms of ion channel functions, pursued by applying both biological and engineering principles onto biological entities (synthetic channel subunits & modulators etc.) and physical components (electrical & optical materials, devices, instruments, etc.) exogenously coupled with excitable membranes for the reconstitution of ion channels’ functionality & pathophysiology. We are particularly attracted by the amazing capabilities of ion channels in sensing exogenous stimuli of diverse modality, such as transmembrane potentials, ionic signals, mechanical forces and electromagnetic radiations. How exactly would ion channels sense, transduce and encode the stimuli (i.e., energy and information) at submolecular, molecular and cellular levels? Based on these core biophysics, we pursue mechanistic understanding, pathophysiological ramifications and bioengineering innovations, of transmembrane signalings via ion channels, especially those related to neural information processing (sensory functions and neural oscillations), and those crucial to neural plasticity (CaV channels and Ca2 + signaling). The methodologies span from electrophysiology, biochemistry, molecular biology and optical imaging to biophysical modeling and engineering design & analysis.