Dr. Weiwei Wang is an Assistant Professor of Biophysics at UT Southwestern Medical Center. He received his undergraduate degree in Material Physics from Sun Yat-sen University in 2005. In 2012, he received his Ph.D. in Biology from the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC). His postdoctoral training was completed in the laboratory of Dr. Rockerick MacKinnon at Rockefeller University, where he studied mammalian G protein gate K+ (GIRK) channel properties and its activation by G protein coupled receptors (GPCR) using biochemical defined artificial membranes. He investigated also the mechanisms underlying channel gating and promiscuous drug block of the human Either-a-go-go-Related Gene (hERG) encoded channel using single particle cryoEM and electrophysiological methods. Further he investigated the biological function of the TWIK-related arachidonic-acid activated k+(TRAAK) channel using the Nonner method of electrical clamping in single node of Ranvier. Dr. Wang started his independent laboratory in 2018 in the department of Biophysics, at UT Southwestern Medical Center.
The Wang lab studies ion channel clusters. To study such clusters without the complications arising from the complex cellular environment, components from cells are purified and studied in isolation. Purified ion channels are incorporated into artificial membranes which allows to measure the ion conduction in the absence or presence of the scaffolding proteins that lead to cluster formation. In addition, a fluorescence microscopy method is being developed that allows us to watch the dynamics of cluster formation down to single-molecule level, at the same time when recording electrical current. Being able to directly correlate the fluorescence imaging with electrical recording allows unambiguous understanding of how clustering affects signal transduction. Further, the structural mechanisms are identified by using cryo-Electron Microscopy methods.