Photo of Matt Whorton, Ph.D.

Matt Whorton Ph.D.

  •      (503) 494-4927
    • Assistant Professor Vollum Institute
    • Assistant Scientist Vollum Institute
    • Neuroscience Graduate Program School of Medicine
    • Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Graduate Program School of Medicine
    • Program in Molecular and Cellular Biosciences School of Medicine

Matt Whorton, Ph.D., is an assistant scientist at the Vollum Institute. He graduated from Duke University in 2001 with a B.S. in Biology, and went on to obtain a Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the University of Michigan in 2008. He  did postdoctoral research at Rockefeller University before joining the Vollum in 2013.
The Whorton Lab is interested in understanding detailed mechanisms of how membrane proteins—ion channels, transporters, and receptors—function. Cells have developed many ways to get nutrients, ions, and signaling information across the barrier of the lipid membrane. This places membrane proteins as central players in many physiological processes and makes them important drug targets.

Areas of interest

  • x-ray crystallography
  • ion channels and transporters
  • structural biology
  • signal transduction
  • membrane proteins
  • electrophysiology


  • B.S., Duke University, Durham North Carolina 2001
  • Ph.D., University of Michigan, Ann Arbor Michigan 2008

Honors and awards

  • American Asthma Foundation Scholar Award (2016)


  • "Cryo-EM structure of the ATP-sensitive potassium channel illuminates mechanisms of assembly and gating." eLife  In: , Vol. 6, e24149, 16.01.2017.
  • "Calcium-activated proteins visualized." Nature  In: , Vol. 516, No. 7530, 11.12.2014, p. 176-178.
  • "Quantitative analysis of mammalian GIRK2 channel regulation by G proteins, the signaling lipid PIP2 and Na+ in a reconstituted system." eLife  In: , Vol. 3, 2014, p. e03671.
  • "X-ray structure of the mammalian GIRK2-βγ G-protein complex." Nature  In: , Vol. 498, No. 7453, 2013, p. 190-197.
  • "Crystal structure of the mammalian GIRK2 K + channel and gating regulation by G proteins, PIP 2, and sodium." Cell  In: , Vol. 147, No. 1, 30.09.2011, p. 199-208.
  • "The effect of ligand efficacy on the formation and stability of a GPCR-G protein complex." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America  In: , Vol. 106, No. 23, 09.06.2009, p. 9501-9506.
  • "Efficient coupling of transducin to monomeric rhodopsin in a phospholipid bilayer." Journal of Biological Chemistry  In: , Vol. 283, No. 7, 15.02.2008, p. 4387-4394.
  • "A CE assay for the detection of agonist-stimulated adenylyl cyclase activity." Electrophoresis  In: , Vol. 28, No. 12, 06.2007, p. 1913-1920.
  • "A monomeric G protein-coupled receptor isolated in a high-density lipoprotein particle efficiently activates its G protein." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America  In: , Vol. 104, No. 18, 01.05.2007, p. 7682-7687.
  • "SUMO modification regulates inactivation of the voltage-gated potassium channel Kv1.5." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America  In: , Vol. 104, No. 6, 06.02.2007, p. 1805-1810.
  • "ARF6 activation by Gαq signaling : Gαq forms molecular complexes with ARNO and ARF6." Cellular Signalling  In: , Vol. 18, No. 11, 11.2006, p. 1988-1994.
  • "Real-time detection of basal and stimulated G protein GTPase activity using fluorescent GTP analogues." Journal of Biological Chemistry  In: , Vol. 280, No. 9, 04.03.2005, p. 7712-7719.
  • "Chemical and Functional Analysis of Hydroxyurea Oral Solutions." Journal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology  In: , Vol. 26, No. 3, 03.2004, p. 179-184.
  • "Identification of Hemochromatosis Gene Polymorphisms in Chronically Transfused Patients with Sickle Cell Diseases." American Journal of Hematology  In: , Vol. 74, No. 4, 12.2003, p. 243-248.
  • "Adenylyl Cyclases."   Handbook of Cell Signaling. Vol. 2-3 Elsevier Inc., 2003. p. 419-426.
  • "Thrombophilic DNA mutations as independent risk factors for stroke and avascular necrosis in sickle cell anemia." Hematology  In: , Vol. 6, No. 5, 2001, p. 347-353.

Additional information

Edit profile