Alexander Sobolevsky, Ph.D.

Title
Assistant Professor
Department
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics
Institution
Columbia University
Address
650 West 168th Street, Black Bldg. 513
City, State, Zip
New York, NY 10032
Phone
(212) 305-4249
E-mail
as4005[at]columbia.edu
Website
http://www.cumc.columbia.edu/dept/gsas/biochem/faculty/ALEXANDERSOBOLEVSKY.htm
Research Field
Biophysics
Award Year
2013

Research

The focus of our lab is ion channels. In order to communicate to each other, cells require channels in their membranes which allow molecules to flow in and out. Ion channels are proteins that act like a gate on a dam, regulating the flow of charged particles across cell membranes. We are determining the structure and function of specific ion channels, called transient receptor potential (TRP) channels. TRP channels are directly involved in sensory perception and can change due to stimuli such as temperature. With the Pew award, I aim to collect detailed information to understand how TRP channels function at the atomic level. Combining data from X-ray crystallography, electrophysiological recordings, kinetic modeling, and biochemical experiments, we will screen TRP channels from organisms as diverse as worms and flies to humans. Ultimately, we hope to create a detailed picture of TRP channels that will inform drug discovery for conditions such as cancers, allergies, and stroke.