Yang Lab

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Our laboratory wants to understand the molecular and cellular mechanisms of ion and lipid transport across cell membranes and their impact on health and treatment of disease. We currently focus on the recently discovered TMEM16 protein family—which include the calcium-activated ion channels and calcium-activated lipid scramblases.

What We’re Asking

  1. How do TMEM16 proteins work at the molecular level?
  2. What are the cellular functions of TMEM16 proteins?
  3. How do TMEM16 proteins contribute to physiology and pathology?
  4. Can we target TMEM16 proteins to treat related diseases?

What We’ve Discovered

  • TMEM16F as a calcium-activated ion channel and lipid scramblase critical for blood coagulation (Yang, et al, Cell, 2012)
  • Structural basis of the calcium-dependent activation of TMEM16 proteins (Tien, et al, eLife, 2014)
  • TMEM16B as an overlooked calcium-activated chloride channel mediates cerebellar motor learning (Zhang, et al, Neuron, 2017)

Our Techniques and Approaches

  • in vitro and in vivo electrophysiology
  • in vitro and in vivo optical imaging
  • Mouse models
  • Behavioral physiology
  • Pharmacology
  • Biochemistry and biophysics