ApconiX welcomes Dr Selvan Bavan, who joins us to carry out ion channel research using manual patch-clamp while learning more about using automated patch-clamp by working with Dr Michael Morton and Dr Karen Jones.

Selvan commented, “Conventional manual patch-clamp is regarded as a ‘gold standard’ technique to record ion channel currents, but this technique has low throughput.  Automated electrophysiology platforms have greatly increased the ability to screen potential drugs against specific ion channels, providing high data quality and high throughput.  Such platforms have been validated over the decades and are powerful and quick standards for evaluating small molecules.  However, in a research context, it’s always useful to return manual patch-clamp to explore and manipulate ion channels, or just as a consistency check.”

“Much of my research career has been spent using manual patch-clamp.  Working with ApconiX gives me a great opportunity to still work in the conventional field but also study ion channels by using automated patch-clamp,” noted Selvan.

Mike added, “We are increasingly carrying out novel research for clients.  Having another research electrophysiologist with Selvan’s experience will prove invaluable”.

Selvan graduated from Imperial College London with a B.Sc. in Biochemistry before going on to study for a M.Sc.  in Neuroscience at the University College London.  Selvan carried out research in cell physiology and pharmacology, gaining a Ph.D. from the University of Leicester.  He characterised the invertebrate P2X receptor expressed in Xenopus oocytes by manual two-electrode voltage clamp electrophysiology 1,2,3.

Selvan became a postdoctoral associate at the Department of Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology at the University of Miami determining the ligand sensitivity of olfactory receptors using automated two-electrode voltage clamp electrophysiology in Xenopus oocytes 4.5.6.  After gaining contract research organization (CRO) experience by writing Global Value Dossiers (GVDs), Selvan then became an Honorary Research Fellow at the Institute of Ageing and Chromic Disease at the University of Liverpool carrying out cell culture and manual patch-clamp electrophysiology8.

Selvan joined the Department of Biology at the University of Pennsylvania to research into transient receptor potential (TRP) channels, in collaboration with Dr Robert Greenberg (Research Associate Professor, School of Veterinary Medicine).  He moved to the California Institute of Technology and studied ion channels in cultured neuroblastoma 2a cells and in Lund human mesencephalic (LUHMES) cells using manual patch-clamp electrophysiology 7.


1 ‘A P2X receptor from the tardigrade species Hypsibius dujardini with fast kinetics and sensitivity to zinc and copper’. BMC Evolutionary Biology. 2009 January, 20;9:17. PMID: 19154569. Bavan S, Straub VA, Blaxter ML, Ennion SJ.

2 ‘The penultimate arginine of the carboxy terminus determines slow desensitization in a P2X receptor from the cattle tick Boophilus microplus’. Molecular Pharmacology. 2011 April;79(4):776-785. PMID: 21212138. Bavan S, Farmer L, Singh KS, Straub VA, Felix D, Ennion SJ.

3 ‘Cloning and characterization of a P2X receptor expressed in the central nervous system of Lymnaea stagnalis’. PLoS One. 2012 November;7(11): e50487. PMID: 23209755. Bavan S, Straub VA, Webb TE, Ennion SJ.

4 ‘Aphid amino acid transporter regulates glutamine supply to intracellular bacterial symbionts’. PNAS USA. 2014 January, 7;111(1):320-325. PMID: 24367072. Price DR, Feng H, Baker JD, Bavan S, Luetje CW, Wilson AC.

5 ‘Discovery of novel ligands for mouse olfactory receptor MOR42-3 using an in silico screening approach and in vitro validation’. PLoS One. 2014 March, 17;9(3):e92064. PMID: 24637889. Bavan S, Sherman B, Luetje CW, Abaffy T.

6 ‘Receptive range analysis of a mouse odorant receptor subfamily’. Journal of Neurochemistry. 2015 July;134(1):47-55. PMID: 25772782. Li J, Haddad R, Santos V, Bavan S, Luetje CW.

7 Chronic menthol does not change stoichiometry or functional plasma membrane levels of mouse α3β4-containing nicotinic acetylcholine receptors’Molecular Pharmacology. 2019 April;95(4):398-407. Epub 2019 Jan 22. PMID: 30670481. Bavan S, Kim CH, Henderson BJ, Lester HA.

8Pro-inflammatory Cytokines Drive Deregulation of Potassium Channel Expression in Primary Synovial Fibroblasts. Frontiers in Physiology. 2020 Mar 24;11:226. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2020.00226. eCollection 2020. PMID: 32265733 Haidar O, O’Neill N, Staunton CA, Bavan S, O’Brien F, Zouggari S, Sharif U, Mobasheri A, Kumagai K, Barrett-Jolley R.