Colecraft Lab

Location and Contact Information

1150 Saint Nicholas Avenue
Room 5-505
New York, NY 10032
United States

Principal Investigator

The Colecraft Lab's ongoing research program is currently focused in three core areas:

  1. Development of novel genetically-encoded ion channel modulators: We are interested in the design and development of genetically-encoded molecules that can inhibit or otherwise modulate the activity of ion channels with exquisite specificity at the nano-, micro-, and macro-scale levels in a manner that is difficult to attain with small molecules. Our designer genetically-encoded molecules serve as potent research tools and potential therapeutics.
  2. Ion channelopathies: Inherited or de novo mutations in ion channels underlie devastating diseases spanning the nervous (epilepsy, migraine, neuropathic pain), cardiovascular (long QT syndrome, Brugada syndrome), respiratory (cystic fibrosis), endocrine (diabetes, hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia), and urinary (Bartter syndrome, diabetes insipidus) systems. We have several projects investigating how mutations in specific ion channels cause molecular and cellular dysfunction that lead to disease, and in finding molecules that can rectify these deficiencies as potential therapeutics.
  3. Molecular physiology of voltage-gated Ca2+channels: Electrical signals co-ordinate the activity of millions of cardiac myocytes to generate the heartbeat; underlie the orchestrated firing of neurons that enable sight, speech, movement, and memory formation; and control the release of hormones that control glucose homeostasis, growth, and development. Remarkably, these diverse biological phenomena utilize a common signal transduction mechanism─ action potentials lead to the opening of voltage-gated Ca2+ channels, permitting an influx of Ca2+ ions that trigger distinct biological responses. We are interested in how these remarkable molecular machines work, how they are regulated by other proteins/signaling molecules to control physiology, how their malfunction causes disease, and in developing molecules that target them to treat disease.

About Henry M. Colecraft

Henry M. Colecraft, PhD is the John C. Dalton Professor and Associate Vice Chair in the Department of Physiology and Cellular Biophysics, and Professor in the Department of Molecular Pharmacology & Therapeutics at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. Dr. Colecraft obtained his BSc in Physiology from University of London King’s College, and his PhD in Pharmacology from the University of Rochester. He completed his postdoctoral training at Johns Hopkins University, where he remained as an Assistant Professor in Biomedical Engineering till he was recruited to Columbia as an Associate Professor in 2007.

Dr. Colecraft is an international leader in the molecular physiology of ion channel proteins that underlie signaling in nerve cells and the heart. He has directed the Ion Channel Physiology & Disease Lab since 2001. His research group has contributed seminal advances to understanding molecular mechanisms underlying regulation of voltage-dependent Ca2+ and K+ channels by accessory subunits, posttranslational modifications, and signaling molecules. His group also studies how inherited mutations in ion channels lead to devastating diseases (known as ion channelopathies) that span the cardiovascular, neurological, and respiratory systems, and in devising new therapies for them.

Lab Members

  • Papiya Choudhury, PhD

    • Associate Research Scientist

    Working on developing new regulatory ligands for Ca2+ a2d subunits.

  • Chi-Kun Tong, PhD

    • Associate Research Scientist

    Working on gene therapy for pain

  • Jacqueline Niu, PhD

    • Postdoctoral Research Scientist

    Working on developing new treatments for CACNA1A channelopathies.

  • Sri Karthika Shanmugam, PhD

    • Postdoctoral Research Scientist

    Working on ubiquitin regulation of Ca2+ channels.

  • Ming Chen

    • Senior Technician/Lab Manager
  • Sergej Borowik

    • Graduate Student

    Working on understanding mechanisms underlying Ca2+ channel trafficking in the heart.

  • Arden Darko-Boateng

    • Graduate Student

    Studying mechanisms of ubiquitin regulation of T-type Ca2+ channels.

  • Ariana Gavin

    • Graduate Student

    Studying Rad regulation of CaV1.2 channels in the heart.

Select Publications

  • Morgenstern TJ, Park J, Fan QR, and Colecraft, HM. 2019. A potent voltage-gated calcium channel inhibitor engineered from a nanobody targeted to auxiliary CaVβ subunits. Elife. Aug 12;8. pii: e49253. doi: 10.7554/eLife.49253 (F1000: rated Exceptional).  

  • Puckerin AA, Chang DD, Shuja Z, Choudhury P, Scholz J, Colecraft HM. 2018. Engineering selectivity into RGK GTPase inhibition of voltage-dependent calcium channels. PNAS. 115(47):12051-12056

  • Kanner SA, Morgenstern T, Colecraft HM. 2017. Sculpting ion channel functional expression with engineered ubiquitin ligases. Elife. pii: e29744. doi: 10.7554/eLife.29744

  • Aromolaran AS, Subramanyam P, Chang DD, Kobertz WR, Colecraft HM. 2014. LQT1 mutations in KCNQ1 C- terminus assembly domain suppress IKs using different mechanisms. Cardiovasc Res. 104(3):501-11.

  • Yang, T., Hendrickson, W., and Colecraft, H.M. 2014. Preassociated apocalmodulin mediates Ca2+-dependent sensitization of activation and inactivation of TMEM16A/B Ca2+-gated Cl─ channels. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 111(51):18213-8.

  • Complete List of Published Work in MyBibliography: