Properties of a New H+ Channel in the Cornea of the Eye

image of single-channel events in an excised patch.

This figure shows single channel events recorded in an excised membrane segment from a Xenopus frog oocyte using the patch-clamp technique which will be used in this project. The top trace was recorded in a patch from an oocyte injected with Slc4a11 RNA. The single channel events are likely to result from opening of an H+ membrane channel. The bottom trace was recorded from an H2O-injected oocyte and shows no single channel events.

Be the first to characterize a newly discovered ion channel in the cornea of the eye.

Project description

The cornea of the eye is a transparent structure that allows the passage of light into the eye. The cornea contains a collagen matrix stroma whose transparency is partially determined by corneal endothelial cells which pump fluid out of the stroma. We are studying the role of SLC4A11, an endothelial cell membrane transporter, in this process. We hypothesize that the SLC4A11 protein is an H+ channel. A student investigator in this project will express SLC4A11 protein in Xenopus frog eggs or cultured cells and then use the excised patch-clamp technique to examine membrane patches from these oocytes for evidence of H+ channel events.

Project outcome

At the end of this project the student will design a poster that will present the project background, goals, data and conclusions. In addition, data acquired by the student may be used in a scientific journal article.

Project details

Timing, eligibility and other details
Length of commitment Longer than a semester (6-9 months)
Start time Anytime
In-person, remote, or hybrid?
Level of collaboration Individual student project
Benefits Academic credit
Who is eligible Juniors and Seniors
Goldwater and the National Science Foundation

Students participating in this project might be interested in and eligible for the Goldwater Scholarship and the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. Connect with the Office of Fellowships and Scholarships to learn more.

Core partners

  • D. Mark Parker, Associate Professor of Physiology and Biophysics

Project mentor

Michael Duffey


Department of Physiology and Biophysics. Jacobs School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences.

Office: 4154. Lab: 4150. 955 Main St. Buffalo, NY 14203

Phone: (716) 829-3111


Start the project

  1. Email the project mentor using the contact information above to express your interest and get approval to work on the project. (Here are helpful tips on how to contact a project mentor.)
  2. After you receive approval from the mentor to start this project, click the button to start the digital badge. (Learn more about ELN's digital badge options.) 

Preparation activities

Once you begin the digital badge series, you will have access to all the necessary activities and instructions. Your mentor has indicated they would like you to also complete the specific preparation activities below. Please reference this when you get to Step 2 of the Preparation Phase. 

  • Watch this linked video of patch clamp recording of ion channels expressed in xenopus oocytes.
  • Additionally your mentor will give you a related article to read.


Physiology, Biophysics, Jacobs School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences.