I am currently working on the structure, function, and molecular mechanism of channelrhodopsins (ChRs). ChRs are retinal-binding membrane proteins which function as cation channels in algae in nature.
ChR2, from the algae Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, has been widely used as an optogenetic tool in neuroscience. I use the yeast, Pichia pastoris, and an insect cell expression system to express different ChRs and their mutants.
I then purify the expressed proteins and study them using biophysical techniques including absorption spectroscopy, flash photolysis, lipid reconstitution, etc.
These techniques combined with others such as FT-IR, Raman spectroscopy, and patch clamping will help elucidate the proton transfer, photocycle kinetics, and channel function of ChR.
Postdoctoral Research Fellow - UTHSC, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Texas, 2012-Present
Ph.D. in Biochemistry - Old Dominion University, Virginia, 2011
M.S. in Biology - Indiana State University, Indiana, 2006
M.S. in Biology - Nanjing University, China, 2004
B.S. in Biochemistry - Central China Normal University, China, 2001