What do we do?
We use Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) as a model system to study:
- molecular mechanisms of neurotransmitter release,
- the function and regulation of gap junctions, and
- the function and regulation of the BK channel, which is a large-conductance and calcium/voltage-gated potassium channel.
Why do we study C. elegans?
C. elegans is a small nematode (~1 mm long in the adult stage). Despite its small size and relatively simple anatomy, many cellular and molecular mechanisms are conserved in C. elegans. The powerful molecular genetics of C. elegans allows us to perform some investigations that are otherwise very difficult with mammalian systems.