We study Mechanotransduction
Touch or pain sensation, muscle contraction, and blood pressure regulation are just some biological processes that rely on the ability of cells and tissues to sense mechanical force. The process of converting mechanical stimuli into biological signals is called mechanotransduction and is mainly accomplished by mechanically activated (MA) ion channels and receptors. Impaired mechanotransduction can have severe consequences on mammalian physiology and can result in disorders such as chronic pain, loss of hearing, muscular dystrophies, and arteriosclerosis. Remarkably, the molecular underpinnings of many mechanotransduction-mediated processes and diseases are poorly understood, mainly because few bona-fide MA ion channels have been identified and characterized so far.
Murthy Lab's overarching research vision is to define how MA ion channels detect and respond to physical stimuli, and understand how this response governs mammalian physiology and pathology.
We are housed in the Vollum Institute at OHSU, which is an exuberant scientific community rich in ion channel physiology, structural biology, and molecular neuroscience.