Prof. M. K. Mathew
The MKM laboratory has studied transmembrane proteins for over 20 years, focusing on solute transporters. We have chosen systems that were both challenging in themselves and parts of larger pictures that were exciting. Initially, we worked on the voltage-gated K+ channel, which soon became the best-studied membrane protein of its time. Once crystal structures of mammalian Kv channels were solved, we worked on elucidating mechanisms coupling changes in transmembrane potential to the opening or closing of the channel. Our model is, arguably, the one that best explains the available data. We have now moved to studying transporters involved in cell death and mechanisms involved in conferring salt tolerance to crop plants. Over the past few years we have discovered at least 3 previously unreported mechanisms and now look forward to both discovering additional mechanisms and to fleshing out the details of the extant mechanisms.