PSL1053H - Advanced Topics: Critical Assessment of Ion Channel Function

Course Coordinator: 

Z. P. Feng


To provide graduate students with a broad exposure to a range of current research areas related to ion channels. Critical advances and papers dealing with ion channel structure and function will be covered. For example, activation gating of cation channels, inactivation mechanisms in cation channels, mechanisms of ion permeation and selectivity in cation channels, modulation of expression and function by accessory subunits in cation channels, permeation and regulation of water channels, allosteric regulation of cation channels (by ions, lipids and phosphorylation), chloride channel regulation, and mathematical and computer modeling of ion channels.


There will be 11 lectures (2.5 hr/lecture) dealing with molecular aspects of ion channels. Each lecture will involve a brief overview by the lecturer. Students will present and critique the assigned research papers in selected areas for each class, followed by discussion/report.  Original papers and reviews will be used for student presentations and discussion. Active participation in discussions will be required. For each presentation, student discussants  will be assigned to review the paper and asked to come to class with prepared questions.


Students need not have a strong background in all topics covered but it will be helpful to have taken PSL452.


a) Oral presentation 40%
b) Written reports 40%
c) Class discussion and participation 20%


Ion channels in excitable membrane: B. Hille

~ updated Dec-2016