Ion channels are membrane proteins whose main function is to allow the passage of ions through the membrane of cells. The object of my lab is to identify the electrophsyiological and molecular characteristics of ion channels in parasites. (Entamoeba histolytica, Giardia lamblia, Trichomonas vaginalis and Toxoplasma sp). We use electrophysiological methods such as patch clamping lipid bilayers and injection of RNA into Xenopus embryos for our studies. We have recently cloned a gene from an amoeba that is similar to a chloride channel and we are currently testing its function.