Paul J. Pfaffinger
Baylor College of Medicine, Department of Neuroscience
One Baylor Plaza, S.740, Houston, USA
Dr. Paul J. Pfaffinger is a preofessor of neuroscience & Department of Molecular Physiology and Program in Structural and Computational Biology and Molecular Biophysics in Baylor College of Medicine.
The regulation of ion channels assembly and function is a central focus of our research. Our studies are identifying the combination of pore forming and auxiliary subunits that are required to form specific native ion channels to generate different neuronal electrophysiological phenotypes. In addition to identifying and characterizing the composition of native ion channels, we are also interested in structure function studies aimed at determining how these proteins interact during assembly, how interactions change channel trafficking and function, and how alternative splicing of channels and auxiliary subunits leads to distinct functional effects. Finally, our work is ultimately tied to our interest in developing a better understanding of how the nervous system functions and the roles that ion channels and ion channel auxiliary subunits play in normal and abnormal function of the nervous system. Our research has important implications for understanding the fundamental processes involved in learning and memory as well as the disease processes associated with aberrant neuronal function such as epilepsy and other movement and thought disorders.