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Rich Hume

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Primary Appointment: LSA Molec./Cell./Develop. Bio
Other PIBS Depts.: Neuroscience
PubMed Name: Hume RI
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  In the Hume lab, we focus on ATP gated P2X receptors, which are the least well understood of the three gene families that mediate fast synaptic transmission in the nervous system. Two types of questions are currently the focus of intensive research. First, we seek to understand the molecular mechanisms by which binding ATP opens these channels. Principle methods for these studies are site-directed mutagenesis followed by electrophysiological recording, quantitative imaging or biochemical assays to detect conformational changes of the protein. Second, we seek to understand the role these receptors play in nervous system and muscle function. The major approach here is to modify the expression of these receptors in living zebrafish embryos, and to introduce mutant receptors into fish as replacements for their native channels. These latter studies are done in collaboration with Dr. John Kuwada, also in MCDB.

We also collaborate with the labs of Mohammed Akaaboune and Catherine Collins on studies of the development and maintenance of synapses in mice and in Drosophila. In both systems we combine in vivo imaging of the structure of synapses with electrophysiological assays of their function.