Dr. McCarty earned his Master's in marine biology in Wilmington, North Carolina, and his PhD in cell physiology in Houston, Texas. He then received postdoctoral training in molecular physiology at Caltech, before moving to Atlanta in 1994.
In the McCarty lab, we focus on the molecular physiology of ion channels and receptors, with emphasis on epithelial chloride channels. Our specific focus is the pathophysiology of Cystic Fibrosis, including the structure/function of CFTR and its many roles in the airway. We pioneered the use of peptide toxins as probes of chloride channels.
We also have projects that study the functional consequences of heterodimerization among GPCRs, the role of CFTR in regulation of sweat composition, and the molecular ecology of predator-prey interactions in the marine environment. Our translational research in CF targets: (a) the mechanism by which the expression of mutant CFTR in airway epithelial cells impacts the development of CF-related diabetes; and (b) identification of biomarkers of acute pulmonary exacerbations in CF along with development of a novel device for their detection in the home.
Dr. McCarty's own research focuses on basic and translational research into the mechanisms that tie loss of function of the CFTR chloride channel (the locus of the primary defect in CF), and how this leads to great increases in bacterial burden when CF patients also develop CF-related diabetes.