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Structural and Computational Biology and Molecular Biophysics

Houston, Texas

A BCM research lab.
Structural and Computational Biology & Molecular Biophysics
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Steen Pedersen, Ph.D.

Steen Pedersen, Ph.D.Associate Professor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

Baylor College of Medicine


B.S. Chemistry, University of Maryland (1979)
Ph.D. Biochemistry, University of Virginia (1984)
Washington University School of Medicine (1984-1989)

Research Interests:

Our research is centered on understanding the molecular mechanisms of ligand gated ion channels, particularly the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor and L-type calcium channels. These channels mediate chemical signal transduction in the nervous system and in muscle. We focus on the structural features and conformational changes that regulate channel function. These are studied using combinations of experimental and computational techniques. We particularly apply lathanide-based resonance energy transfer methods to understand conformational changes. This information further informs drug discovery for novel cholinergic ligand to treat, among other things, smoking.

Selected Publications:

  • Halling DB, Georgiou DK, Black DJ, Yang G, Fallon JL, Quiocho FA, Pedersen SE and Hamilton SL. Determinants in CaV1 channels that regulate the Ca2+ sensitivity of bound calmodulin. J Biol Chem, 284(30):20041-51 (2009). PubMed
  • Ozsoy HO, Sivasubramanian N, Wieder ED, Chan FK, Pedersen SE and Mann DL. Oxidative Stress Promotes Ligand Independent and Enhanced Ligand Dependent Tumor Necrosis Factor Receptor Signaling. J Biol Chem, 283(34):23419-28 (2008). PubMed
  • Zhang X, Andrews JN and Pedersen SE. Kinetic Modeling and Fitting Software for Inter-connected Reaction Schemes. VisKin. Analytical Biochemistry, 361:153-161 (2007). PubMed
  • Shlyonsky VG, Markin VS, Andreeva IE, Pedersen SE, Simon SA, Benos DJ and Ismailov II. Role of membrane curvature in mechanoelectrical transduction: Ion carriers nonactin and valinomycin sense changes in integral bending energy. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta, 1758:1723-1731 (2006). PubMed
  • Meltzer RH, Vila-Carriles W, Ebalunode JO, Briggs J and Pedersen SE Computed Pore Potentials of the Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor. Biophysical Journal, 91:1325-1335 (2006). PubMed
  • Meltzer RH, Lurtz MM, Wensel TG and Pedersen SE. Nicotinic acetylcholine receptor channel electrostatics determined by diffusion-enhanced luminescence energy transfer. Biophysical J, 91:1315-1324 (2006). PubMed

For more publications, see listing on PubMed.

Contact Information:

Department: Molecular Physiology and Biophysics
Address: Baylor College of Medicine
One Baylor Plaza
Room T428
Houston, TX 77030
Phone: 713-798-3888
Fax: 713-798-3475
Additional Links: Pedersen Lab

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