Conversations in Convergence: Targeting protein membranes in disease

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Join us for our Conversations in Convergence series, which features interactive discussions between Medicine by Design researchers who study similar questions using different approaches.



Vineeth Raveendran, PhD Candidate, Melanie Woodin lab, Department of Cell & Systems Biology, University of Toronto

Enhancing potassium-chloride cotransporter-2 (KCC2) function in neurons by targeting protein-protein interactions

Vineeth Raveendran is a PhD candidate in Melanie Woodin’s lab and is working on enhancing potassium-chloride cotransporter-2 (KCC2) function in neurons by targeting protein-protein interactions (PPI). Vineeth graduated from the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research-Kolkata (IISER-K) with a Bachelor of Science-Master of Science (BS-MS) dual degree, majoring in Biological Sciences. His master’s degree research focused on the role of gap junction proteins (connexins) in maintaining neural homeostasis and myelination. In the Woodin Lab, he has validated PPI inhibitor peptides that can increase KCC2 expression and function, which is essential for maintaining synaptic inhibition in adult neurons.

Michael Garton

Michael Garton, Assistant Professor, Institute of Biomedical Engineering, University of Toronto, and Canada Research Chair, Synthetic Biology.

Overcoming barriers to integrating synthetic biology with regenerative medicine

Michael Garton is an Assistant Professor in the Institute of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Toronto and the Canada Research Chair in synthetic biology. He completed his undergraduate education in chemistry and PhD in computational biology at the University of Nottingham, U.K. He then moved to Canada for postdoctoral fellowships at The Hospital for Sick Children and University of Toronto, which allowed him to develop expertise in protein design. He set up his own lab in 2019, focused on protein design in the context of cell and gene therapy.

About Conversations in Convergence

The goal is to foster cross-disciplinary discussions in support of convergence, which is the integration of approaches from engineering, science, medicine and other fields to expand knowledge and spark innovation. The researchers will discuss how their unique perspectives, knowledge and ideas inform their work, and how their diverse approaches intersect and complement one another to advance regenerative medicine.


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