Mengyuan Xu

Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Department of Molecular & Cellular Physiology

Mengyuan’s research mainly focuses on determining the structures of CLC family proteins to further understand their transport mechanism in laboratory of Dr. Merritt Maduke. She received her Ph.D. in Department of Pharmacology from Case Western Reserve University with Dr. Derek Taylor. Her Ph.D. research focused on understanding the complex function of telomere binding proteins POT1-TPP1 in telomere maintenance and telomerase regulation. Mengyuan is collaborating with the laboratory of Dr. Wah Chiu to understand the structural basis of CLC-2, which is a member of Chloride Channel (CLC) family protein and widely expressed in the brain. CLC-2 is critical for electrogenesis, cell volume homeostasis and control of membrane potential. In neurons, CLC-2 facilitates Cl- efflux to maintain the Cl- gradient favorable to cell hyperpolarization for GABA currents, and may also directly influence neuronal excitability. High-resolution structures of CLC-2 will provide fundamental knowledge of the molecular basis for its physiological functions and invaluable guidance for designing small molecules that can be used for research or therapeutics.