Ernest Wright is a cell physiologist with a research focus on the structure and function of cotransporters — specialised proteins that transport substances into cells. His work aims to understand how sugars, amino acids and signalling molecules are transported into our cells. As mutations in cotransporters can lead to diseases, determining the underlying mechanisms of these mutations may result in new treatments.
He is well known for developing expression cloning, an effective technique for generating copies of proteins such as cotransporters in order to study them. Amongst other achievements, he was the first to identify mutations in a transporter protein. He also co-invented a new electron microscopy technique, allowing improved determination of the structures of transporters.
Ernest is currently Professor of Physiology at the University of California, Los Angeles and has published several key papers in the cell physiology field. As well as being a Fellow of the Royal Society, Ernest is a Fellow of the Biophysical Society, and a Member of the German Academy of Sciences (Leopoldina) and the US National Academy of Sciences.
Interest and expertise
Anatomy, physiology and neurosciences
Animal (especially mammalian) and human physiology and anatomy (non-clinical)