Lab of Wolfgang Liedtke MD. PhD.

understanding sensory transduction and pain

Wolfgang Liedtke MD.PhD.  Principal Investigator (wolfgang AT neuro.duke.edu)


I am a scientist-physician with a clinical as well as laboratory-based  interest in better understanding and ameliorating human pain.Please see my attached biosketch (NiH Biosketch.pdf), also my entry under the Duke Department of Neurology homepage, and my physician profile under dukehealth.org

Yong Chen PhD.  Senior Research Associate (yong.chen AT duke.edu)


Combating pain is at the core of patient care provided by medical  doctors. Pain can have many facets including, by origin, inflammatory  pain, neuropathic pain, cancer pain, and by locale, joint, back, head  (migraine), trigeminal pain and others. In vertebrates, specialized  sensory neurons, "nociceptors", transduce the painful stimulus from  peripheral. My project is primarily concerned with the role of primary  sensory neurons in pain, and with the role of the TRPV4 ion channel in  pain transduction and transmission. Forms of pain that I specifically  investigate include trigeminal pain and irritation, using molecular  neurophysiology methods focused on channel function in conjunction  with behavioral assessment.

Patrick Kanju PhD.  Senior Research Associate (kanju AT neuro.duke.edu)


The TRP superfamily of ion channels exhibit a diverse selectivity to various cations and hence diverse biophysical properties and ion gating mechanisms. My research is geared towards how structural motifs in TRP(V) channels affect their function in various cell types, both excitable and non-excitable. I primarily focus on how region-specific alterations of the channel, from mutation of motifs going down in resolution to the single amino acid, affect calcium permeability of the channel as well as membrane potential of the cell. For these structure-function studies. I am utilizing Calcium imaging coupled with patch clamp recordings.

Whasil Lee PhD.  Postdoctoral Associate (whasil.lee AT duke.edu)


Some ion channels in the cell membrane were found or proposed to be activated by mechanical stimuli (aka. the stretch-activated ion channels). The mechanotransduction, converting mechanical stimuli to cellular responses, is essential in various biological processes including the senses of touch and hearing. My current research projects are focused on the molecular mechanisms of mechanotransduction in neuronal cells. I overexpress or knockdown the stretch-activated ion channels

(or candidates) , and characterize the cell responses to the mechanical stimuli.

Personnel