Electrophysiology has long been considered one of the more esoteric aspects of neuroscience; invisible ion channels are probed with miraculously selective drugs to determine their effects on the ephemeral electrical signals of brain cells. We know that this bioelectricity is the very essence of the nervous system but, studied with only the most sophisticated equipment capable of measuring small numbers of charged particles as they traverse cell membranes at time scales faster than a blink of an eye, we see only the ghosts of its true dynamic vitality, frozen in small snapshots on oscilloscopes or computer screens. We seek to revitalize these spirits and with our accumulating understanding of cellular function and disease identify specific ion channels and neurotransmitter receptors as therapeutic targets.
The research interests of the Papke laboratory are focused on obtaining an understanding of the functional significance of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR) in the CNS and how these receptors may be developed as therapeutic targets.
We are also interested in understanding the physiological basis for, and cultural significance of, betel quid addiction.
• Nicotine addiction
• Drug Discovery
• Ligand-gated ion channel biophysics
• Cholinergic anti-inflammatory systems
• Molecular biology
Check out the recent publications from the Primary Investigator (PI), Dr. Roger L. Papke