Alex Cloake

Personal photo - Alex Cloake

Alex Cloake

MRC iCASE Doctoral Student at the

Rex Richards Building, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3QU



My academic interests lie in how protein structure is intimately coupled to function. Specifically I am interested in how TREK-1 and TREK-2 of the K2P family of Potassium Channels are gated, and how we can modify this for a potential therapeutic for chronic pain. They show a polymodal activation from a diverse array of stimuli, from small molecules to membrane stretch, and it is difficult to imagine that the structural changes resulting from each of these stimuli are identical. We currently have crystal structures of these channels in an array of different conformations and I am using a nanbody based approach to attempt to find state-dependent inhibitors which will allow us to functionally characterise the different conformations.