Physiology of Ion Channels

Prof. Dr. rer. at. Heinrich Terlau, Dr. Jie Song

The aim of our research is to understand how ion channels as membrane spanning proteins of almost all cells work. To do so we are investigating the structure, function and regulation of these proteins at the molecular and cellular level. Starting with a molecular description of the single proteins the aim is to establish the physiological role of a given ion channel in cells and different tissues.
One main focus of our work is the analysis of the pharmacological properties of ion channels. We are working on the interaction of peptides from the venoms of the marine cone snails interacting with voltage-dependent ion channels. By using these pharmacological tools we try to enhance our knowledge on how ion channels function and try to establish the basis for the pharmacological or potential clinical use of those peptides.