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Research groups

Sam Usher

DPhil Student

Fluorescence spectroscopy and electrophysiology of the KATP channel

The ATP-sensitive potassium (KATP) channel couples the metabolic state of a cell to its electrical activity. The regulation of the channel by the ratio of intracellular adenine nucleotides (ATP:ADP) is critical for insulin secretion and blood glucose homeostasis.

To study the binding of nucleotides to KATP, I use a combination of fluorescence spectroscopy and electrophysiology with channels incorporating a non-canonical, fluorescent amino acid.

I hope to further our understanding of the biophysical properties of the channel, and how mutations which cause diabetes or hyperinsulinemia can disrupt its regulation.