Dr. Blount's research is aimed at determining molecular, biochemical, and biophysical mechanisms underlying an organisms’ ability to detect mechanical forces. Such mechanosensation is necessary not only in our sense of touch, but in the ear for hearing and balance, as well as cardiovascular regulation. Because of its tractability and simplicity, he has primarily studied mechanosensitive channels in bacteria.

Dr. Blount’s laboratory utilizes a multidisciplinary approach that includes microbial genetics, biochemical, biophysical and electrophysiological approaches to explore the general functional principles of biological mechanosensors.

His work has also recently expanded to include investigating the potential use of bacterial mechanosensors as potential drug targets, developing them into ‘triggered nanovalves’ that could be used in drug-release devices or “smart” contrasts for MRI, and the biophysical characterization of candidate mammalian mechanosensitive channels.


University of California-San D (1983)
Graduate School
Washington University (1990)

Research Interest

  • Bacterial channels
  • Mechanosensation
  • mechanosensitive channels
  • Microbial homeostasis
  • Osmoregulation


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Professional Associations/Affiliations

  • Member of the American Society for Microbiology
  • Member of the Biophysical Society