The Goldstein Lab

Research in the Goldstein lab is directed towards understanding how ion channels operate in health and illness. These integral membrane proteins catalyze the selective transfer of ions across membranes and, like enzymes, show exquisite specificity and tight regulation. As a class, ion channels orchestrate the electrical activity that allows operation of the heart, nervous system and skeletal muscles--even the signals in T cells require ion channels. Less sensational but equally important, ion channels mediate cellular fluid and electrolyte homeostasis. Remarkably, fundamental questions remain to be answered. How do ion channels open and close? What is their architecture? How do mutations produce cardiac arrhythmia, hypertension, seizures, or deafness? How do drugs act to produce beneficial outcomes (~20% of our current pharmacopeia targets ion channels) or to yield undesirable side effects?