Advisor: Baron Chanda and Randy Goldsmith
I am interested in studying the biophysics of voltage-gated ion channels using single-molecule fluorescence microscopy. Of specific interest to me are the hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated (HCN) channels. These tetrameric channels bind up to four cyclic nucleotides which enhance their voltage-dependent activation through an unknown mechanism. By employing single-molecule fluorescence techniques in zero-mode waveguide nanofabricated devices, I hope to uncover the cooperative nature of cyclic nucleotide binding and observe the subsequent conformational changes that induce the enhanced voltage sensitivity.