My lab is interested in the role of ion channels and fuel metabolism in the production of Ca oscillations and pulsatile insulin secretion in normal as well as diabetic islets of Langerhans. Techniques in use or in development include patch clamp electro-physiology, calcium measurements and ion imaging in general using fluorescence methods, insulin measurements, mathematical modeling and biochemical and molecular approaches. Current projects include testing a new model of islet oscillations, measuring oscillations in a K(ATP) channel knockout mouse, examining the actions of fatty acid on beta cell function, and studies of cell-cell and islet to islet communication. This research is funded by NIDDK.
A second interest is elucidating how mild traumatic brain injury or concussion impacts upon functional synaptic transmission in the cerebral cortex. These studies use patch clamping and ion imaging approaches (as well as western blotting) to examine glutamatergic and GABAergic synapses and how they are affected by stretch of the plasma membrane produced using a novel in vitro model of traumatic brain injury. This research is funded by NINDS.