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Mary Cheng, Ph.D.

Professor and Interim Chair


3501 Fifth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15260


Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

I have modeling experience in a wide range of ion channels/transporters, including several types of sodium coupled neurotransmitter transporters, neurotransmitter-gated ion channels, CLC channels/transporters, and gap junction Claudin-2. My research interest and expertise lie in protein modeling and medicinal chemistry, focusing on molecular mechanisms of i) transporter functions, i.e., transporter cycle; ii) ion transport through membrane protein channels, i.e. channel conductance and charge selectivity; iii) drug modulation of protein receptors, i.e. ligand binding sites and binding affinity; and iv) protein-lipid and lipid-lipid interactions. I am particularly interested in development/implement of multi-scale modeling technology to investigate biological systems at both molecular and cellular levels. I developed a hybrid molecular dynamics/Brownian dynamics methodology that can be applied to investigate ion permeation through membrane protein channels.

Cheng MH, Bahar I (2019) Monoamine transporters: structure, intrinsic dynamics and allosteric regulation Nat Struct. & Molec. Biol.26: 545–556

Cheng MH, Torres-Salazar D, Gonzalez-Suarez AD, Amara SG, Bahar I (2017) Substrate Transport and Anion Permeation Proceed through Distinct Pathways in Glutamate Transporters. ELife.6: e25850

Cheng MH, Garcia-Olivares J, Wasserman S, DiPietro J, Bahar I (2017) Allosteric Modulation of Human Dopamine Transporter Activity under Conditions Promoting its Dimerization. J Biol Chem.292: 12471-12482