Principal Investigator

Baron Chanda, Ph.D.

Dr. Baron Chanda’s primary research interest is to understand the mechanisms of electrical signaling by membrane proteins such as ion channels. He graduated with a Bachelors degree in Biochemistry from the University of Delhi and a Masters degree in Biotechnology (Biophysics specialization) from the University of Pune, India. He obtained his Ph.D. at the National Center for Biological Sciences in India where he gained expertise in membrane protein biochemistry, fluorescence spectroscopy, and basic electrophysiology. In 2000, he moved to the University of California, Los Angeles to conduct postdoctoral research with Dr. Francisco Bezanilla. During this time, he did foundational work on mechanisms of gating of sodium and potassium channels using the newly developed voltage-clamp fluorometry. In the fall of 2006, he joined the Department of Physiology (now Neuroscience) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison as an Assistant Professor and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2012. In 2015, he was jointly appointed as a professor in the Department of Biomolecular Chemistry. As of late spring 2020, he joined Washington University School of Medicine as a Professor of Anesthesiology and has secondary appointments in the Department of Biochemistry and the Department of Neuroscience. While his scientific approach is rooted in reductionism, Chanda’s long-term interest is to gain a comprehensive understanding of ion channel function in a physiological context. Throughout his scientific career, he has also been actively involved in either developing or adopting new technologies to study mechanistic underpinnings of ion channel function.

bchanda (at) | 314-273-6811 | Twitter: @ChandaLab06

Lab Manager

Rob Tryon, Ph.D.

rtryon (at)

Senior Scientist

Yongchang Chang, M.D., Ph.D.

Yongchang received his Ph.D. in Physiology and Biophysics from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 1998. He studied structure-function relationship of the pentameric ligand-gated ion channels for many years before joining Dr. Chanda’s lab in 2020 as a senior scientist. His current main project is to optimize conditions to generate large amounts of stable proteins for spHCN (HCN from sea urchin) for structural determination by cryo-EM. He is also involved in projects for chimera design and construction between different subfamily members for studying the gating mechanisms of HCN.

yongchang (at)

Staff Scientist

Suhaila Rahman, Ph.D.

Suhaila nurtured a profound research interest in the structure-function relationships of membrane proteins during her PhD in the membrane protein structural biology lab at Tokyo University of Science, Japan, under the supervision of Dr. Ichiro Yamato and co-supervisor Dr. Takeshi Murata. Following her PhD, she moved to the United States for her postdoctoral research, where she extensively studied various membrane transporters and ion channels in recognized membrane protein labs using protein biochemistry, electrophysiology, EPR/fluorescence spectroscopy, X-ray crystallography, and cryo-EM. In Dr. Chanda’s lab, her projects focus on structural studies of ion channels utilizing cryo-EM and biochemical approaches.

suhaila.rahman (at)

Postdoctoral Researchers

Verena Burtscher, Ph.D.

bverena (at)

Susovan Chowdhury, Ph.D.

susovan (at)

Arghya Polley, Ph.D.

polley (at)

Kathleen Bickel, M.D., Ph.D.

kgbickel (at)

Graduate Students

Jenna Lin

Jenna graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a B.S. in Bioengineering and a minor in Biological Sciences in Spring 2018. At Mizzou, she was in Drs. Lorin and Mirela Milescu labs where she developed a great interest in ion channels, electrophysiology, and neuroscience. In Fall 2018, she joined the Biophysics Graduate Program at UW-Madison, and joined Dr. Chanda’s lab the following winter. In Fall 2020, Jenna moved with the lab and joined the Biochemistry, Biophysics & Structural Biology Program at WashU. She enjoys taking an interdisciplinary approach to problems and combining science and engineering. Currently, Jenna is interested in understanding the relationship between the architecture and function of ion channels via evolutionary approaches such as ancestral sequence reconstruction. Outside of the lab, Jenna enjoys playing piano.

jllin (at)

Undergraduate Students

Grace Sugrue

Summer Undergraduate Students

Artiom Butuc (Amgen scholar)

Rotation Students