Graduate Program Appointment
Emeritus Member: Eligible to supervise M.Sc. or co-supervise Ph.D.
Regulation of biological transport; Cellular membranes; Ion channels; Intracellular reponses to stimuli; Electrophysiology; Signal transduction.
I study the regulation of biological transport at all levels of complexity: the whole cell, isolated membranes, and single proteins (that is, ion channels). Transport across cellular membranes defines the intracellular environment under diverse external conditions. Not only does transport control the composition of the intracellular milieu, but it also functions as a mechanism for translating external triggers (light, hormones, etc.) into intracellular responses. The tools I use are electrophysiology (multi-barrelled micropipettes to inject substances into the cell and perform current-voltage analysis, patch-clamping to measure ion channel activity), biochemistry (to characterize transport activity in vitro), and molecular biology (to clone and characterize genes encoding transport proteins). I work with a variety of model systems - algal, fungal, and plant - and focus on transport properties associated with particular transduction processes. For example, I have engaged in research on root hairs to characterize in detail the role of pressure in tip growth and its regulation by signaling cascades and ion transport.