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Jie Zheng, PhD
University of California - Davis School of Medicine
PhD, Physiology, Yale University
MS, Biophysics, Peking University

Mailing Address:
4145 Tupper Hall
1 Shields Ave.
Davis , CA 95616
Phone: 530-752-1241
Fax: 530-752-5423

Research Interests

Temperature-sensitive TRP channels

The main research focus of the Zheng laboratory is on the molecular mechanisms of temperature-sensing ion channels. Human senses ambient temperature changes with “heat sensors” located at the sensory nerve terminals under the skin. When these sensors are activated upon heating or cooling, they open up transmembrane ion pathways, generating an excitatory current that initiates signaling of sensory neurons to the central nervous system. Several members of the TRP (transient receptor potential) channel family  are known to serve as heat sensor, hence are termed “thermoTRP” channels. How thermoTRPs activate in response to temperature changes remains mysterious. In the Zheng laboratory, we work on this problem with a multidisciplinary approach that combines biophysical methods (patch-clamp current recording of macroscopic and single-channel currents, site-directed fluorescence recording, intracellular Ca2+ imaging, etc.) with molecular biology, pharmacology, cellular and system physiology, and protein structure modeling.



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