Society of
General physiologists

Past Student Cranefield Awardees

Postdoc Cranefield Award 2014 2014 Postdoc Cranefield Award

David Posson is currently an instructor of physiology and biophysics at Weill Cornell Medical College. His research interests focus on allosteric mechanisms that control channel gating and inter-subunit cooperativity. David is enthusiastic about the application of structural and spectroscopic methods to deepen our understanding of ligand and voltage-dependent gating.

Student Cranefield Award 2014 2014 Graduate Cranefield Award

Elena C. Gianulis worked in Dr. Matthew Trudeau’s laboratory where she studied the biophysical properties of the hERG potassium channel, specifically, identifying and characterizing key intersubunit interactions in hERG that are essential for channel gating. She is now a post-doctoral researcher at Old Dominion University in Dr. Andrei Pakhomov’s laboratory where she is investigating the electrophysiological and cellular effects of nanopore formation by electric pulse stimulation in cells.

Cranefield Student Award 2013 Postdoc Cranefield Award

Samuel J. Goodchild is a postdoc at University of British Columbia. His research has been focused on studying voltage-gated ion channel structure and function. He is interested in combining traditional electrophysiology with unnatural amino acid-derived chemical biology to identify interactions and understand the structural basis for regulation of ion channel activity

Cranefield Student Award

Cranefield Student Award
2013 Graduate Cranefield Award (shared)

Sandipan Chowdhury, a fifth year graduate student of the Biophysics Program at the University of Wisconsin Madison, is interested in basic theoretical (of reaction rates, dielectrics, classical statistical thermodynamics, etc.), spectroscopic and structural studies of proteins. Currently, he is working on voltage-gated potassium channels and the possible effects of hydration on the molecular choreography of these membrane proteins. He is also interested in TRP channels, principally the mechanisms of polymodal sensitivities in these channels.

Kang-Yang Jih received his PhD in T-C Hwang's lab (U Missouri-Columbia) in 2012 and is now in National Yang-Ming University, Taiwan, to complete the clinical training of the MD-PhD program. His research aims to decipher the gating mechanism of the CFTR chloride channel whose defective function constitutes the root cause of cystic fibrosis. The JGP 2012 paper presented evidence for a non-equilibrium gating mechanism involving an input of free energy from ATP hydrolysis; the data also support a surprising idea that the gating cycle and ATP hydrolysis cycle are not tightly coupled.

Cranefield Student Award 2012 Postdoc Cranefield Award

Leigh Plant is currently at Brandeis University where his research focuses on mechanisms that control neuronal excitability via the regulation of channel proteins. His winning paper was Plant, L.D. et al., SUMO modification of cell surface Kv2.1 potassium channels regulates the activity of rat hippocampal neurons J Gen Physiol 2011 137:441-454.

Cranefield Student Award 2012 Graduate Cranefield Award

Daniel Basilio is exploring the now blurry interface between ion channels and ion pumps. In particular, he’s studying the molecular events underlying the transport cycle of a prokaryotic CLC type Cl-/H+ exchanger, using ion flux essays and X-crystallography. During summers, he works as part of a cooperative effort studying the ion occlusion reactions of the Na+/K+ pump in the squid giant axon using high-speed voltage clamp, at the Laboratory of Cell Physiology in Montemar, Chile.

Cranefield Student Award 2011 Postdoc Cranefield Award

Bjoern Falkenburger was in the Department of Physiology and Biophsics, University of Washington, Seattle. Following experimental measurements of amounts and kinetics, he and his colleagues developed a comprehensive kinetic model of the signaling cascade of M1 muscarinic receptors - from ligand binding to phospholipase C activation - and of the metabolism of phosphoinositide membrane lipids - from PIP2 synthesis to the modulation of KCNQ2/3 potassium channels (companion papers in the February 2010 issue of JGP). He is now at the Department of Neurology, RWTH University Aachen in Germany to complete his training as a neurologist.

2011 Graduate Student Award

Juan Ramón Martínez-François received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. He carried out his dissertation in the laboratory of Zhe Lu, where he investigated the molecular mechanisms of gating and block of cyclic nucleotide-gated channels. He obtained the award for the article "Intrinsic versus extrinsic voltage sensitivity of blocker interaction with an ion channel pore", JGP 135:149-167. These studies describe the two most general types of mechanism by which blocker affinity for an ion channel pore can depend on membrane voltage. He is currently a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Gary Yellen at Harvard Medical School, studying the role of ATP-sensitive K+ channels in regulating neuronal excitability and in preventing epileptic seizures.

2011 Undergraduate Cranefield Award

Vladislav Belyy is currently a student in the Biophysics Graduate Group at the University of California, Berkeley. He is interested in the molecular basis of mechanical force production and detection in living cells. He received the Cranefield award for his undergraduate work on bacterial mechanosensitive channels, which was published in the Journal of General Physiology in May 2010 under the title "Adaptive behavior of bacterial mechanosensitive channels is coupled to membrane mechanics" (Vol.135 No.6 641-652).

2010 Graduate Student Award

Jill Jensen is currently working as a postdoc in the laboratory of Bertil Hille at the University of Washington to flesh out the signaling cascade by which muscarinic receptors modulate M current. While the importance of PIP2 depletion is well established, the lab seeks to elucidate the contributions of other signaling events such as receptor modification, IP3 and calcium increases, and channel phosphorylation by PKC. She received the award for a paper published in JGP in 2009, when she was still a graduate student, “Fluorescence changes reveal kinetic steps of muscarinic receptor–mediated modulation of phosphoinositides and Kv7.2/7.3 K+ channels,” JGP 133 no. 4 347-359.

2010 Postdoc Award

Xiaodong Zhang is at the Center for Neuroscience at UC Davis. In 2009 he published two related back-to-back papers in J. Gen. Physiol. The first of these two papers (Vol. 133, page 43-58) provided a novel view on the blocking mechanism of CLC-0 chloride channel by pchlorophenoxy acetate (CPA) and amphiphilic compounds. In the second paper (Vol. 133, page 59-68) he reported that CPA and amphiphilic molecules can punch through the pore of a mutant CLC-0, E166G.

2009 Graduate Student Award

Andrés Jara-Oseguera was in the Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences, Department of Physiology, School of Medicine, UNAM, in Mexico City. His research interests are the molecular mechanisms of gating and regulation of voltage-activated potassium channels by soluble gases, and their implication for oxygen sensing. He won the award for a paper entitled: “Properties of the Inner Pore Region of TRPV1 Channels Revealed by Block with Quaternary Ammoniums”, published in the Journal of General Physiology in November 2008.

2009 Postdoc Award

Giovanni Zifarelli After graduating in nuclear physics at the University of Naples, he attained his PhD at the Max Planck Institute of Biophysics in Frankfurt am Main, working on the electrophysiological and spectroscopic characterization of Na,K-ATPase. Afterward he joined the lab of Michael Pusch at the Institute of Biophysics (IBF) of the Italian National Research Council to investigate the structure-function relationship of chloride channels and transporters. His award was granted on the basis of a paper he published in JGP in 2009, “Intracellular Proton Regulation of ClC-0.”

  2008 Graduate Student Award

Dipayan Chaudhuri for the article "Elementary mechanisms producing facilitation of Cav2.1 (P/Q-type) channels." J Gen Physiol. May 2007; 129(5):385-401.

  2008 Postdoc Award

Thomas Claydon for the article "A direct demonstration of closed-state inactivation of K+ channels at low pH." J Gen Physiol. May, 2007:129(5):437-455.


SGP Cranefield Student Awards | Traditional Paul F. Cranefield Award


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