Ion Channels & Transporters in Immunity Research Program | NYU Langone Health

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Department of Pathology Research Ion Channels & Transporters in Immunity Research Program

Ion Channels & Transporters in Immunity Research Program

The Ion Channels and Transporters in Immunity (ICTI) Research Program, which is part of the Department of Pathology at NYU Langone, is dedicated to research of ion channels and transporters (ICTs) in immunity. The program, directed by Stefan Feske, MD, builds on existing institutional strengths in areas including ion channel physiology and structure and immunology as well as autoimmunity, inflammation, and metabolism.

Ion Channels and Transporters in Immunity Research Program Components
The Ion Channels and Transporters in Immunity Research Program supports researchers by providing opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration and funding, as well as hosting conferences, seminar series, symposia, and a graduate course.

Our goal is to understand the basic mechanisms by which ICTs regulate the function of immune cells and to investigate the translational potential of ICT modulation to shape immune responses in infections, tumors, and autoimmune disorders. A deeper mechanistic understanding of ICTs is the basis for the development of new therapeutics for immune-related diseases.

The Significance of Ion Channels and Transporters in Immunity

ICTs are important for the regulation of immune cell function and immune responses to infections and tumors, as well as in autoimmune diseases. However, only a small fraction of the several hundred known ICTs and associated proteins are well established to have a role in immune cells and immunity. ICTs have been comprehensively studied in the nervous system, heart, and kidney, but researchers have not focused as closely on their role in the immune system. This gap in our understanding of the physiological function of ICTs in immunity is a missed opportunity for the development of new drugs to modulate immune-related diseases.

The ICTI Research Program is unique in its focus on investigating the function of ICTs in immunity. Our research has a significant basic science discovery component. Furthermore, ICTs are a largely untapped field in therapeutics development. By defining the role of ion channels in immunity, our goal is to develop new drugs for antitumor immunotherapy and for the treatment of autoimmunity, inflammation, asthma, and other immune-related diseases.

Ion Channels and Transporters in Immunity Research Areas

The interdisciplinary research teams of the ICTI Research Program merge basic science discovery research on ICTs in immune cells with the translation of these discoveries into new treatment approaches for immune-related disorders. Our areas of focus include the following.

The lab of Stefan Feske, MD, investigates the role of CRAC calcium channels and other ICT proteins in lymphocyte and myeloid cell function and immunity to infection and inflammation. William A. Coetzee, DSc, studies the KATP channel, which is responsible for metabolo-electrical coupling, and he explores the role of ICTs in macrophages. The lab of Bhama Ramkhelawon, PhD, investigates how mechanosensitive ICTs regulate cardiovascular disease. Susan R. Schwab, PhD, and her team study how phospholipid transporters control lymphocyte migration. The regulation and function of the potassium channel KCa3.1 and its function in lymphocyte activation is the focus of the lab of Edward Y. Skolnik, MD. David L. Stokes, PhD, investigates the structures of potassium and zinc transporting proteins.

Faculty in the ICTI Research Program conduct autoimmunity research in partnership with NYU Langone's Judith and Stewart Colton Center for Autoimmunity and antitumor immunity research in partnership with NYU Langone's Perlmutter Cancer Center. Drug discovery related to ICT function in immunity is supported by NYU’s Therapeutic Alliances.

Ion Channels and Transporters in Immunity Facilities and Resources

The Ion Laboratory (IonLab) is a new core facility based in the Ion Channels and Transporters in Immunity Research Program. IonLab provides electrophysiology support services to ICTI Research Program faculty and to the entire NYU Langone research community, regardless of the channel or cell type being studied.

The IonLab is led by director William A. Coetzee, DSc, and assistant director Hua-Qian Yang, PhD. For more information, or to schedule a consultation or service request, please email ionlab@nyulangone.org.

Ion Channels and Transporters in Immunity Research Faculty

Timothy J. Cardozo, MD, PhD
William A. Coetzee, DSc
Barbara E. Ehrlich, PhD
Stefan Feske, MD
Stevan R. Hubbard, PhD
Rodrigo S. Lacruz, PhD
Karen Maass, PhD
Gregory E. Morley, PhD
Bhama Ramkhelawon, PhD
Susan R. Schwab, PhD
Edward Y. Skolnik, MD
David L. Stokes, PhD
Hua-Qian Yang, PhD

Contact Us

For general inquiries about molecular oncology research programs, please email Dr. Feske, program director, at stefan.feske@nyulangone.org.