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) wustl.edu | 314-273-6811 | Twitter: @ChandaLab06

Lab Manager

Rob Tryon, Ph.D.

rtryon (at) wustl.edu

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) wustl.edu

Postdoctoral Researchers

Vinay Idikuda, Ph.D.

Vinay graduated from Osmania University with a Bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy in 2010. He received his PhD in Neuroscience from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2018. During his PhD, he studied ligand binding in HCN channels using patch clamp fluorometry in Dr. Lei Zhou’s lab. Vinay joined the Chanda lab in 2019 to further his interests in ion channels and membrane proteins. Currently, he is investigating the temperature sensitivity in calcium activated potassium channels. Outside the lab, Vinay enjoys hiking, playing badminton, and tennis.

idikuda (at) wustl.edu

Verena Burtscher, Ph.D.

bverena (at) wustl.edu

Susovan Chowdhury, Ph.D.

susovan (at) wustl.edu

Arghya Polley, Ph.D.

polley (at) wustl.edu

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

kgbickel (at) wustl.edu

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. When the Chanda lab moved to WashU, Jenna moved with the lab and joined the Biochemistry, Biophysics & Structural Biology Program at WashU in Fall 2020. 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, hiking, and cooking.

jllin (at) wustl.edu

Undergraduate Students

Grace Sugrue

Rotation Students

Audrey Orlowski