The Blount laboratory is located within the Physiology Department at UT Southwestern. We are on the 12th floor of the relatively new ND building. We have several areas with larger labs dedicated to molecular biology or bacteriology, and smaller rooms dedicated to electrophysiology, as described in "Space and Facilities".
Our research is largely aimed at understanding how an organism detects mechanical force, as described in “Our Research”. Because of its tractability and simplicity, we have concentrated on microbial mechanosensitive channels. Recently, we have been working with channels from higher organisms in the hope that we can utilize the power of microbial genetics to study them.
Our web page gives some information on several, but not all ongoing projects. If you have questions, comments, or are interested in the work, please contact us.
Where possible, we use the power of our microbial system, i.e. selections and screens, to indicate functional “hot spots” within the channel protein.
The figure to the right shows the results from one of our screens; mutants of interest were identified and further characterized using patch clamp, which allows for the monitoring of single molecular events: a lone channel opening and closing.
The figure is from one of our papers published in a special issue of the journal “Channels”; the theme of this special issue is mechanosensitive channels.