The Welborn Group

## Research Interests: ###Interconversion kinetics of ion channels The generation and propagation of action potentials is mediated by voltage-gated cation channels that confer electrical conductivity to the membrane of excitable cells. In neurons for example, sodium channels modulate the membrane potential in response to electrical stimuli, which makes them important targets for toxins and therapeutic drugs. While the general behavior of isolated channels is reasonably well understood, their collective response in vivo is not. Indeed, a network of neurons is characterized by irregular action potential firing patterns that do not result from the integration of known intra- and inter-neuron signals. ###Water dynamics in mammalian bone Water constitutes 10% of mammalian bone tissues and is as such the third major component after hydroxyapatite crystals (70%) and collagen (20%). Besides nutrient and waste transport, water assists in conferring to bone its unique mechanical properties, making it a promising clinical marker of fracture risk. Indeed, Bound water protects collagen and makes bone less susceptible to fracture in the event of external stress while free water molecules are associated with bone strength (hydraulic stiffening). However, measuring bound and free water overlooks the dynamical interplay between these two populations and how this equilibrium changes across multiple length scales. ###Interfaces in nanoelectronics

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Blacksburg, VA 24061