NIH Training Grants

Transport Processes in Biological Systems

The training grant "Transport Processes in Biological Systems" is held by the department of Cellular & Molecular Pysiology. There are three training positions available every year. The purpose of this training is twofold:

  1. Enhance the research experience of individuals with the Ph.D. degree in the area of cellular and molecular physiology in order to prepare them for academic careers
  2. Provide clinically trained fellows with adequate research training and experience to enable them to carry out independent research in an academic setting. The training objective is to educate four trainees annually in the study of membrane function, more particularly of membrane channels, transporters and pumps in a wide range of cell types. The research expertise will be acquired through a program lasting one to three years.

Research areas cover the molecular biology of membrane proteins, the physics of their function, the basic mechanisms whereby ions, water and organic molecules are transferred across biological membranes, the regulation of membrane function, the involvement of membranes in signal transduction, the biosynthesis, assembly, intracellular sorting, targeting and insertion of membrane proteins, the role of membrane processes in cell regulation, and the integrated function of cells in epithelia. The biological membrane systems being studied include isolated membrane proteins, cDNA clones that encode these proteins, chimeric membrane proteins, mutant transport systems, cytoskeletal elements associated with membrane proteins, specific monoclonal antibodies, membrane fractions and membrane vesicles, liposomes, bilayer lipid membranes, organelles within cells, isolated separated single cells, cellular protoplasts, frog oocytes, symmetrical and polarized cells in culture, epithelial cell sheets in culture, isolated perfused renal tubules, renal tubule segments in situ, and isolated epithelia. The methodologies which can be acquired though this program cover molecular biological techniques, genetic recombination, in vitro mutagenesis, transfection, protein isolation, protein chemistry, expression of membrane proteins, reconstitution of membrane components, electron microscopy and laser confocal microscopy, molecular probing of membrane components, optical determinations of intracellular composition, cell culturing, patch-clamping, intracellular voltage and conductance measurements, intracellular ion activity measurements, microdissection and microperfusion, as well as kinetic modeling.