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 Ether-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.

Research Interest

  • 1. Ion channel / transporter clusters
  • 2. Ion channel reconstitution and electrophysiology
  • 3. Structure/spacial organization of ion channel clusters
  • 4. Cryo-EM Microscopy
  • 5. Fluorescence microscopy


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Structural and dynamic properties of the C-terminal region of the Escherichia coli RNA chaperone Hfq: integrative experimental and computational studies.
Wen B, Wang W, Zhang J, Gong Q, Shi Y, Wu J, Zhang Z Phys Chem Chem Phys 2017 Jul
Cryo-EM Structure of the Open Human Ether-à-go-go-Related K+ Channel hERG.
Wang W, MacKinnon R, Cell 2017 04 169 3 422-430.e10
Novel cell-free high-throughput screening method for pharmacological tools targeting K+ channels.
Su Z, Brown EC, Wang W, MacKinnon R, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2016 May 113 20 5748-53
Cooperative regulation by G proteins and Na(+) of neuronal GIRK2 K(+) channels.
Wang W, Touhara KK, Weir K, Bean BP, MacKinnon R, Elife 2016 04 5
The GIRK1 subunit potentiates G protein activation of cardiac GIRK1/4 hetero-tetramers.
Touhara KK, Wang W, MacKinnon R, Elife 2016 04 5
Quantitative analysis of mammalian GIRK2 channel regulation by G proteins, the signaling lipid PIP2 and Na+ in a reconstituted system.
Wang W, Whorton MR, MacKinnon R, Elife 2014 Jul 3 e03671
Solution structure of the Pdp1 PWWP domain reveals its unique binding sites for methylated H4K20 and DNA.
Qiu Y, Zhang W, Zhao C, Wang Y, Wang W, Zhang J, Zhang Z, Li G, Shi Y, Tu X, Wu J, Biochem. J. 2012 Mar 442 3 527-38