Francis Valiyaveetil, PhD
Primary AffiliationSOM-Physiology & Pharmacology Department
Program AffiliationNeuroscience Graduate Program
Physiology & Pharmacology Program in Molecular & Cellular Biosciences
Background & Education
M.Sc. 1992 Indian Institute of Technology-Mumbai
Ph.D. 1999 University of Wisconsin-Madison (Dr. Robert Fillingame, Advisor)
Postdoctoral 2005 The Rockefeller University (Dr. Roderick MacKinnon & Dr. Tom Muir, Advisors)
Honors & Achievements:
1992 Silver Medal, IIT-Mumbai
1992 Cremer Research Fellowship
2007 Pew Scholar Award
We study potassium channels, which are integral membrane proteins that catalyze the selective conduction of K+ ions across biological membranes. While a great deal of research has been focused on these channels, fundamental questions regarding the mechanism of ionic selectivity and gating remain. We have developed a unique combination of methods to address these questions. Our methods include the use of chemical synthesis to introduce precise chemical changes in the channels, x-ray crystallography to determine the structural effects and electrophysiology to determine the functional effects of these changes. Using this multidisciplinary approach we hope to explain the mechanism of ion selectivity and channel gating.
1)Focke, P. J., and Valiyaveetil, F. I. (2010) Studies of ion channels using expressed protein ligation. Curr Opin Chem Biol. 14, 797-802
2)Linn, K. M., Derebe, M. G., Jiang, Y., and Valiyaveetil, F. I. (2010) Semisynthesis of NaK, a Na+ and K+ conducting ion channel. Biochemistry 49, 4450-6.
3)Komarov, A. G., Linn, K. M., Devereaux, J. J., and Valiyaveetil, F. I. (2009) Modular strategy for the semisynthesis of a K+ channel: investigating interactions of the pore helix. ACS Chem Biol. 4, 1029-38.
4) Valiyaveetil, F. I., Leonetti, M, Muir, T. W., MacKinnon, R. (2006) Ion selectivity in a semisynthetic K+ channel locked in the conductive conformation. Science 314, 1004-7.
5)Valiyaveetil, F. I., Sekedat, M., MacKinnon, R., Muir, T. W. (2006) Structural and functional consequences of an amide-to-ester substitution in the selectivity filter of a potassium channel. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 128, 11591-9.
We have openings for graduate students and postdoctoral associates
Postdoctoral positions are available for recent Ph.Ds interested in applying unnatural amino acid mutagenesis for investigating ion channels and transporters. Experience in electrophysiology, protein crystallography or peptide/synthetic chemistry desired. Email your CV and contact information for references to Dr. Valiyaveetil.