Cheng, Wayland

M.D., Ph.D.
Instructor in Anesthesiology

My research examines the structural basis of anesthetic modulation of neural receptors with a focus on ligand-gated ion channels. We use a combination of photo-affinity labeling, mass spectrometry, electrophysiology and molecular modeling to map the sites of anesthetic binding in channels such as the GABA(A) receptor. Also, we hypothesize that membrane lipids are important determinants of anesthetic action. We are developing native mass spectrometry and ion mobility as tools to study the interaction of lipids and anesthetics with ion channels, and the effect of these ligands on channel structure. The goal of this work is to generate detailed structural models of anesthetic action in different lipid environments, which may inform the design of novel neuroactive drugs.