Christoph J. Fahrni

Metals ions play an important role in all forms of life. Approximately 40% of human proteins require one or multiple metal ions for their proper function. These metalloproteins support a wide range of biological processes, including signal transduction, gene regulation, and catalysis. While the function of metal cofactors in proteins have been a longstanding theme in bioinorganic research, the mechanisms by which cells acquire, store, and regulate metal cations remain poorly understood. The importance of this research area is underscored by the discovery of an increasing number of diseases, such as hemochromatosis, Menkes syndrome, and Alzheimer’s disease, that are associated with impaired metal transport and regulation. The Fahrni Lab’s research is concerned with the development and application of molecular tools that will aid in elucidating the transport, storage, and trafficking of transition metal ions in cells, tissues, and whole organisms