Dr. Samrat Thouta’s research interest lies in the study of molecular mechanisms underlying ion channel function and how dysfunction is related to disease, and the study of signal pathways in the nervous system and drug discovery. He has provided a novel mechanism to describe the unusually gating process of hERG and has shown the position of the pore gate in hERG channels and defined the key steps in the deactivation pathway — critical for its role in cardiac repolarization. Thouta showed the first characterization of de novo missense neuronal Kv7.5 channel mutations that were identified by whole exome sequencing in four children with intellectual disability with or without epilepsy.
Under the supervision of Dr. Snutch, Thouta will be investigating the mechanisms involved in sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP) to inform treatment and improve survival. The underlying mechanisms triggering SUDEP remain unknown. Using animal models of human disease and live brain imaging, Thouta aims to define the specific brain regions that promote brain inactivity during SUDEP-like seizures. This will include testing novel anti-epileptic drugs as a potential preventative SUDEP agent. The results of this research will provide an understanding of the cause of SUDEP and could have a significant impact on epilepsy drug development efforts, potentially leading to the discovery of novel therapeutics for SUDEP prevention.
For an up-to-date list of publications by Dr. Thouta, please see ResearchGate.
University: University of British Columbia
Faculty: Michael Smith Laboratories
Position: Postdoctoral Researcher
Research locations: Michael Smith Laboratories & Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health