Faculty Profile: Jin, Rongsheng

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Faculty Information Lab Information (Packet Type, Course Title, & Department) Location
Jin, Rongsheng
Lab Contact:
Rongsheng Jin
r.jin@uci.edu
949-824-6580
A STRUCTURAL BIOLOGY
Department: Physiology & Biophysics
Medical Science I, C-322

Research Description

Our research focuses on the structure and function of botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs), which are among the most poisonous substances known to man. BoNTs therefore represent a major bioterrorist threat. Paradoxically, BoNT-containing medicines and cosmetics have been used with great success in clinic. Both the toxic and therapeutic functions of BoNTs indeed rely on a common mechanism to enter neurons, cleave proteins that mediate release of key neurotransmitters, and subsequently paralyze the affected muscles. We are trying to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying the BoNT-host interplay during the course of intoxication.

A second area of our research concerns the structural and functional characterization of ion channels, receptors, and signaling molecules in the nervous system. The brain is a massive network of neurons that communicate with each other by signal transmission at synapses. We are interested in mechanisms of synapse formation, neurotransmission, and synaptic plasticity. These studies will facilitate the design and improvement of therapeutic agents for the treatment of psychological and neurological disorders.

The students will learn basic techniques in molecular cloning, protein expression, purification, and characterization. The students will also have the opportunity to observe and/or participate in high-throughput crystallization screening, remote synchrotron X-ray diffraction studies, and structure determination and analysis.

Requirements to Participate

Preference to those with basic experience in biochemistry and/or molecular biology.

Time Commitment per Week

8-12 hours

Faculty Means of Evaluation

Attendance, responsibility, research performance