Gordon Lab News and Events

The first TRP channel was identified in 1977 as a phototransduction mutant in Drosophila (Minke, 1977). Since that time the TRP channel family has grown to include at least 20 members (Clapham et al., 2001). The importance of TRP channels is demonstrated by the wide variety of their proposed functions: invertebrate phototransduction; responding to painful stimuli; responding to moderate temperature changes; repletion of intracellular calcium stores; receptor–mediated excitation; and modulation of the cell cycle (reviewed in (Clapham et al., 2001; Montell, 2001; Montell et al., 2002). Despite the clear physiological importance of TRP channels, little is known about what regulates their function. One type of TRP channel, TRPV1, is a polymodal receptor that integrates a number of painful stimuli. These stimuli include: noxious heat, with a threshold of approximately 42°C; extracellular acidification, with a pKa of about 5.3 (Caterina et al., 1997; Jordt et al., 2000); anandamide and other arachidonic acid metabolites (Smart et al., 2000); and capsaicin, a pungent extract from plants in the Capsicum family (Szallasi and Blumberg, 1999; Caterina and Julius, 2001).

Our lab lab studies the molecular mechanisms of activation and regulation of TRPV1 channels. We use electrophysiology to study their functional properties, molecular biology to control their primary sequence (i.e. make mutations), and biochemistry to examine their interactions with other proteins. We are particularly interested in interactions. For ion channels, we must consider interactions between subunits within one channel, interactions with regulator proteins, interactions with the membrane, and interactions with small molecules such as second messengers. It is through understanding what interactions occur, when they occur, and how they have their effect that we make progress in addressing the function and role of ion channels within cells.


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Sharona Gordon, Professor seg [at] uw.edu

Mika Munari, Research Scientist mawaya [at] uw.edu

Eric Senning, Postdoctoral Fellow endsen [at] uw.edu

Gilbert Martinez, Postdoctoral Fellow gman [at] uw.edu

Click Here for Gilbert's Website

I’m interested in membrane protein structure-function with an emphasis on the 6-TM voltage gated ion channel superfamily. I use a broad array of biochemical and biophysical techniques to study the energetics of channel activation/inactivation/closing and how channel environment (cell-type, lipid composition, etc.) influence the energetics.


Mario Rosasco, Postdoctoral Fellow mrosasco [at] uw.edu

Click Here for Mario's Website

Mario received his BA in biology from the University of Chicago in 2009, where he specialized in neuroscience and endocrinology. He was awarded his Ph.D. from the department of Pharmacology at the University of Washington in 2014, and has been a postdoc in the Gordon lab since 2015.


Anastasiia Stratiievska, Graduate Student nastyna [at] uw.edu

A graduate student in Department of Physiology and Biophysics PhD program since 2015. Transferred from graduate program at Bogomoletz Institute of Physiology, International Center for Molecular Physiology, Kyiv, Ukraine since 2012. In 2012 she obtained her Master’s Degree in Molecular Physiology and Biophysics from Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (State University, Kyiv affiliate), Dept. of Molecular and Biological Physics, Kyiv, Ukraine.

Undergraduate Research Assistants

Nicolas Basil
Sarah Nelson
Amanda Qu
Nicolas Reyes
Erin Williams

Sharona Gordon
University of Washington
HSB Room I-312

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