Biophysics and biology of k+ channels
Roderick MacKinnon, M.D.
John D. Rockefeller Jr. Professor
Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Ion channels catalyze the diffusion of inorganic ions down their electrochemical gradients across cell membranes. Because the ionic movements are passive, ion channels would seem to be extraordinarily simple physical systems, yet they are responsible for electrical signaling in living cells. Among their many functions, ion channels control the pace of the heart, regulate the secretion of hormones into the bloodstream, and generate the electrical impulses underlying information transfer in the nervous system.
Dr. MacKinnon’s research is aimed at understanding the physical and chemical principles underlying ion channel function.
This page was last updated on Wednesday, August 11, 2021