|Research fields||Ion channel physiology, biophysics, biochemistry, neuroscience, cell biology, bioinformatics|
His main research focus is ion channel proteins which he studies both from a fundamental and medical perspective. Specifically, he is interested in the function of the voltage‑gated potassium channel Kv4.3 (Kv4.3) and its auxiliary proteins (KChIPs and DPLPs). In humans, mutations, found in the KCND3 gene encoding for the Kv4.3 channel, lead to the development of neurological conditions (e.g., spinocerebellar ataxia 19/22, SCA19/22). Inherited and, more recently, several de novo mutations have been reported in literature, thus, urging for a better understanding of how the Kv4.3 channel works.
The main technique used by Claudio is electrophysiology (i.e., whole‑cell and cell‑attached patch clamp) in cell lines (i.e., Chinese Hamster Ovary cells) and reconstituted systems (i.e., giant unilamellar vesicles). He uses these two systems to characterize the effect of patients‑derived and in silico mutations on the function of the Kv4.3 channel complex. Cell lines allow him to study the Kv4.3 channel in a native-like complex environment comprised of cytosolic proteins and different lipid domains. Reconstituted systems provide him with the tools to investigate the effect of single variables (e.g., lipids) on the channel properties. His research will shed more light on the impact of individual biological components (e.g., mutation and lipids) on the activity of the wild‑type Kv4.3 channel complex and how malfunctioning Kv4.3 channel may affect the electrical activity of neurons (i.e., Purkinje cells).