Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Experimentelle Biophysik

Rodrigo Gaston, Fernandez Lahore


Rodrigo lab


Room:  003


Tel:     (030) 2093 98279

In February of 2017, I started my PhD thesis in the Hegemann lab. My main research focus is the interaction between light activated cyclases (e.g. Rhodopsin Guanylyl Cyclases, RhGCs) and cyclic nucleotide gated (CNG) channels for use in optogenetics applications. Rhodopsin guanylyl cyclases are retinal-based, photoactivatable proteins, which synthesize cGMP out of GTP. The second messenger cGMP signals the start of certain processes in a cell. As the name implies, CNG channels open in the presence of cyclic nucleotides and therefore passively conduct ions in the presence of cGMP. In combination, these two proteins allow the photo-induction of currents in varying cell types and, due to the variety in CNG channels, the ions conducted can be varied by utilizing channels of differing origins (e.g. rat CNG channels).

My interest lies in the analysis of the CNG channel currents that can be induced by a photoswitchable cyclase and design optogenetic constructs with varying ion selectivities. For this, I utilize molecular biology, cell culture and electrophysiology on both cultured cells and Xenopus oocytes.