Marie Skłodowska-Curie - Fellowship (ECR)

Channelrhodopsin 2 - ChR2

Channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) is a light sensitive ion channel found in green algae. ChR2 is now widely used in optogenetics. Neurons expressing ChR2 can be depolarized rapidly and reversibly by illumination, hence allowing control of the activation/inactivation of neurons in specific locations of the brain. Despite its importance, very little is known about the ChR2 structure, light cycle and mechanism of action.

Using classical and QM/MM molecular dynamics-based methods, we aim at understanding the photo-chemical cycle of ChR2 and to target the current technical limitations of the protein. Understanding the structure, the mechanism of action and biophysical properties of ChR2 will help in the engineering of new mutants or chemically modified variants with desirable properties. The objective is to expand the range of applicability of ChR2 in optogenetics and in medical devices, as well as to contribute to the basic knowledge of ion transfer in membrane channels.

Dr. Albert Ardèvol

Channelrhodopsin 2


Max-Planck-Institut für Biophysik

Marie Skłodowska-Curie - Fellowship (ERC)
Dr. Albert Ardèvol
Department of Theoretical Biophysics

Tel.: +49 (0) 69 6303-2509
E-Mail: albert.ardevol(at)