Structural Biology Biochemistry Genomics Neurophysiology
How do changes in the structure and expression of genes and proteins alter sensory physiology and behavior?
The Rowe lab addresses this question by investigating the molecular and physiological mechanisms underlying sensory adaptations that mediate predatory behavior. We study predator-prey interactions because they rely on fast, specialized sensory inputs and neuromuscular responses, and we focus on ion channels in nerve and muscle tissue because they encode sensory information and regulate responses to external stimuli. Interactions between carnivorous grasshopper mice (a.k.a., scorpion mice) and their chemically-defended prey (scorpions, darkling beetles, centipedes, tarantulas) provide a powerful, ecologically relevant model for examining the role of ion channels in sensory adaptations that mediate predatory behavior.