The College of Natural Sciences at The University of Texas at Austin
The University of Texas at Austin

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Richard Aldrich
Professor of Neuroscience
Karl Folkers Chair in Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research II
The National Academy of Sciences, member

Main Office: NHB 4.504
Phone: 512-232-6246

Alternate Office: NHB 
Alt. Phone: (512) 475-9657

Mailing Address
Center for Learning and Memory
1 University Station C7000
University of Texas at Austin
Austin ,TX 78712-0805

Richard Aldrich

Research Summary

Ion channels are the molecular units of electrical signaling in cells. They are proteins that regulate the movement of ions--such as sodium, calcium, and potassium--into and out of cells. They are responsible for the conversion of external sensory signals to the electrical language of the nervous system and for the integration of these signals to generate appropriate behavior. Ion channels are also important for the generation and regulation of the heartbeat, for contraction of muscles, and for the release of hormones in the bloodstream. The body contains a large variety of ion channel types, specialized to select for certain species of ions and to selectively open and close in response to a number of different stimuli, such as the binding of a neurotransmitter molecule or a change in the voltage that exists across a cell's membrane. Work in the Aldrich laboratory is directed towards understanding the mechanisms of ion channel function and the role of ion channels in electrical signaling and physiology. This research relates to transduction, processing, and transmission of information in the nervous other physiological systems and to basic mechanisms of coupled conformational changes in signaling proteins. We use a combination of molecular biology, electrophysiology, biophysics, cellular and systems physiology, and computational biology.



Bio Sci students