Thomas Jentsch receives prestigious award from the European Research Council


For the second time Thomas Jentsch receives the ERC Advanced Grant. The physician and physicist studies the importance of ion channels for health and disease.

Thomas J. Jentsch, Leibniz-Institut für Molekulare Pharmakologie (FMP) and Max-Delbrück-Centrum für Molekulare Medizin (MDC) and Charité-Universitätsmedizin as well as member of the Cluster of Excellence Neurocure, is one of the few scientists to be awarded a second, prestigious and very competitive, ERC Advanced Grant. Thomas Jentsch is a world leader in the research on ion channels. These channels are located in the membrane of cells that allow the selective and regulated flow of ions like potassium or chloride. His work stretches from the molecular identification of these channels over their biophysical and structural characterization to the determination of their roles for the cell and the organism, in particular their roles in physiology, pathology and various human diseases.

In the latest supported ERC project, Jentsch will examine the importance of the VRAC channel, which has been molecularly identified by his group a few years ago. These channels are not only involved in the regulation of cell volume, but excitingly also transport various signaling molecules and even clinically important drugs. The new projects aim at understanding the manifold physiological roles of this channel e.g. in physiological and pathological signal transduction and transport across cells of various organs and to discover so far unknown roles of these differently composed ion channel.
Furthermore, there remain several important gaps in the knowledge of ion channel proteins. In his new ERC-funded proposal Thomas Jentsch intends to finally molecularly identify other channels that have been known physiologically for a long time. Despite their physiological importance and resisting efforts of other groups, the proteins constituting these channels remain unknown. In an ambitious approach, Thomas Jentsch now intends to identify these proteins by checking each of the roughly 20,000 human genes in a high-throughput approach. "Once the proteins are identified, we can define their biological tasks," says Jentsch. "This could lead to many unexpected discoveries."

Jentsch Lab:

Prof. Thomas J. Jentsch FMP/MDC
Phone: +49-30-9406-2961 oder -2975


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