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Donghee Kim, Ph.D.

Professor, Physiology and Biophysics

Chicago Medical School
Building: RLE-3.341
Phone: 847-578-8356

Research Projects
We have two projects that investigate the role of ion channels in the modulation of cell excitability at rest and in response to various stimuli.  (1) The goal of the first project is to understand the mechanisms by which TRP ion channels expressed in chemoreceptor and sensory neurons detect various physicochemical stimuli such as heat, cold, hypoxia, noxious chemicals and Ca.  This is studied using cloned TRP ion channels expressed in cell lines as well as ion channels in dorsal root ganglion and trigeminal neurons.  The TRP ion channel we are currently studying is TRPA1.  (2) The goal of the second project is to understand the mechanisms by which hypoxia and receptor agonists modulate the function of TASK (K2P3/9), TREK (K2P 2/10) and TRP ion channels in chemoreceptor cells.  This is studied using freshly isolated cells from the carotid body, adrenal gland and cerebellar granule neurons that express high levels of these K channels.  The role of mitochondrion as the oxygen sensor that regulates the function of these K2P channels is under investigation.