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Seminar prof. Armagan Kocer, dept.of Neurosciences (UMCG) (Lecture)

Tuesday 24 January 2017Add to my calendar
from 12:30
dr. Armagan Kocer, dept. of Neurosciences (UMCG)

Armagan Kocer UMCG jan2017The cells in the nervous system communicate via electrical signals thatorchestrate transmission of information in millisecond resolution through theneuronal networks that drive all our functions.
These signals originate fromlarge and rapidly reversible fluctuations in electrical voltage across the cell membrane facilitated by transmembrane proteins called ion channels. Ion channels are selectively permeable, water-filled gates that control the transit of electrically charged atoms (ions) or small molecules across the otherwiseimpermeable cell membrane. They are gated by changes in voltage, temperature, mechanical forces, or ligand binding. The flow of ions through the channels generates a current that produces voltage changes across the cell membrane. Given the crucial role of ion channels in neuronal excitability and communication, defects in ion channel functioning also have significant physiological and behavioral effects. Therefore, understanding their working principles is essential for probing neuronal activity. With the current advances in chemistry, structural biology, biophysics and computer sciences, we are now able to go beyond functional studies and elucidate as well as manipulate the molecular mechanisms underlying ion channel activity with the ultimate goal of understanding and controlling brain function in health and disease. In this talk, I will first present the synthetic biology tools that we developed to reveal the working mechanism of a mechanosensitive ion channel and show how we employ them to understand the functioning of a human voltage-gated potassium channel involved in spinocerebellar ataxia and sudden cardiac arrest. Next, I will introduce two novel technologies bridging nanomedicine and biosensors. Finally, I will present my vision on how an integrative research program on ion channels, from the atomic to systems level, would enhance our knowledge about the functioning of the brain, providing noveltools to control neuronal activity and behavior, and assist in developing new cures targeting ion channels.

More information can be found on:http://www.rug.nl/staff/a.kocer/

prof. Paul Tiesinga