I am a British Heart Foundation funded Research Associate looking at the cardiac calcium release channel, RyR2. I use the techniques of droplet interface bilayers and TIRF microscopy to obtain spatial information simultaneously with ion flux measurements from multiple RyR2 channels. The aim of my current project is to determine whether simultaneous gating of RyR2 channels, as sometimes observed indirectly by electrophysiology from planar bilayers, involves true channel coupling (and allosteric interaction) or whether these observations are actually spatially-separate stochastic events. This will help answer the question of how coordinated termination of SR calcium release can occur within physiological time frames.
Zissimopoulos, S..,Viero, C..,Seidel, M..,Cumbes, B..,White, J..,Cheung, I..,Stewart, R..,Jeyakumar, L. H..,Fleischer, S..,Mukherjee, S..,Thomas, N. L..,Williams, A. J.. & Lai, F. A.. (2013). N-terminus oligomerization regulates the function of cardiac ryanodine receptors. Journal of Cell Science 126(21), 5042-5051.
Nomikos, Michail.,Elgmati, Khalil.,Theodoridou, Maria.,Calver, Brian L..,Cumbes, Bevan.,Nounesis, Georg.,Swann, Karl. & Lai, F. Anthony. (2011). Male infertility-linked point mutation disrupts the Ca2+oscillation-inducing and PIP2hydrolysis activity of sperm PLCζ. Biochemical Journal 434(2), 211-217.