The primary research interests of our laboratory are how ion channels regulate the electrical excitability of cells and how defects in these channels lead to human disease. In the past two decades, mutations of ion channel genes have been found to be the primary cause for over 100 human diseases. Our research program is focused on the mechanistic basis for a group of inherited conditions that alter the electrical excitability of skeletal muscle, including periodic paralysis and myotonia. We have characterized the gating defects of mutant channels, generated computational models of muscle excitability, and produced genetically-engineered mice to gain insights on the pathomechanisms of these disorders and to explore therapeutic interventions.
A selected list of publications:
Baljit S. Khakh received a Ph.D. degree from the University of Cambridge in 1995. During his graduate studies, he also spent some time at the Geneva Biomedical Research Institute. Dr. Khakh completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the laboratory of Dr. Graeme Henderson at the University of Bristol, followed by a fellowship at the California Institute of Technology, working in the laboratories of Drs. Henry A. Lester and Norman Davidson as a Wellcome Trust International Prize Traveling Research Fellow, and Senior Research Fellow in the Division of Biology. In 2001, Dr. Khakh returned to Cambridge in the Division of Neurobiology at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology. Dr. Khakh joined UCLA in April 2006.