My lab works on Cys-loop receptors, which are one of the major classes of ligand-gated ion channels. The family includes in its vertebrate members 5-HT3, nACh, GABAA, GABAC, and glycine receptors. Proteins from this family are critical for fast synaptic transmission, and are also the major target site for many active compounds including anaesthetics, muscle relaxants, insecticides and a range of drugs that treat neurological disorders including Alzheimer's disease, anxiety, epilepsy, learning and attention deficit, and drug addiction. Rational design of more effective drugs requires a detailed molecular knowledge of the sites at which they act, but current information in this area lags well behind that for many other proteins. The aim of our research is to understand the structure and mechanism of action of this family of neurotransmitter-gated ion channels.