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Henry M. Colecraft, PhD
Professor and Chair
Columbia University Irving Medical Center
PhD, Pharmacology, University of Rochester
BSc, Physiology, University of London King's College

Mailing Address:
New York , NY

Research Interests

The Colecraft Lab's ongoing research program is currently focused in three core areas:

1.    Development of novel genetically-encoded ion channel modulators: We are interested in the design and development of genetically-encoded molecules that can inhibit or otherwise modulate the activity of ion channels with exquisite specificity at the nano-, micro-, and macro-scale levels in a manner that is difficult to attain with small molecules. Our designer genetically-encoded molecules serve as potent research tools and potential therapeutics.

2.    Ion channelopathies: Inherited or de novo mutations in ion channels underlie devastating diseases spanning the nervous (epilepsy, migraine, neuropathic pain), cardiovascular (long QT syndrome, Brugada syndrome), respiratory (cystic fibrosis), endocrine (diabetes, hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia), and urinary (Bartter syndrome, diabetes insipidus) systems. We have several projects investigating how mutations in specific ion channels cause molecular and cellular dysfunction that lead to disease, and in finding molecules that can rectify these deficiencies as potential therapeutics.

3.    Molecular physiology of voltage-gated Ca2+channels: Electrical signals co-ordinate the activity of millions of cardiac myocytes to generate the heartbeat; underlie the orchestrated firing of neurons that enable sight, speech, movement, and memory formation; and control the release of hormones that control glucose homeostasis, growth, and development. Remarkably, these diverse biological phenomena utilize a common signal transduction mechanism-action potentials lead to the opening of voltage-gated Ca2+ channels, permitting an influx of Ca2+ ions that trigger distinct biological responses. We are interested in how these remarkable molecular machines work, how they are regulated by other proteins/signaling molecules to control physiology, how their malfunction causes disease, and in developing molecules that target them to treat disease.


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