Caitlin Donahue (University of Notre Dame)

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Location: 138 DeBartolo Hall

            Gap junctions are channels that permit the transfer of small molecules, metabolites, and second messengers between cells and the dysregulation of gap junctions are implicated in a variety of diseases. In order to understand normal and disease-associated cell biology of gap junctions, it is important to be able to detect and measure gap junction function within living cells. Current methods to measure gap junctions are invasive, non-specific, and lack spatiotemporal resolution. In this work, the authors present PARIS, an optogenetic tool to detect gap junctions, as an alternative to current approaches. This approach provides sub-cellular spatial resolution, fast temporal resolution, and is non-damaging to the cells while enabling the detection of gap junctions in physiologically relevant cell culture and organismal models.

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