VGCC

Voltage-Gated Calcium Channels

Calcium ions represent Mother Nature’s ion of choice for regulating physiological signaling as it relates to numerous aspects of cellular life and death.

Research into voltage-gated calcium channel-mediated signaling is a fascinating and rewarding area – whether you are interested in basic biology mechanisms of neurophysiology, cardiac function, muscle physiology, endocrinology, eukaryotic development, aging and gene transcription, or whether you are more interested in the underlying mechanisms and treatment of human disease.

From the human disease and clinical perspectives naturally occurring genetic alterations in calcium channel genes are associated with a number of serious human disorders including:

  • Childhood Absence Epilepsy
  • Familial Hemiplegic Migraine Type-1
  • Generalized Idiopathic Epilepsy
  • Hypokalaemic Periodic Paralysis
  • Malignant Hyperthermia
  • Progressive Cerebellar Ataxia
  • Spinocerebellar Ataxia Type-6
  • Timothy Syndrome

From the aspects of translational biomedical research and future clinical drug development calcium channels represent a further wealth of opportunity for biomedical researchers and clinicians. Calcium channels have long been the target of therapeutic drugs aimed at treating the symptoms of cardiovascular disease and migraine headache.

In addition to future therapeutics aimed at treating the noted calcium channel-related genetic diseases (e.g., congenital migraine, ataxias and epilepsy) there are many more opportunities to contribute to treatments aimed at disorders affected by calcium signaling.

These include:

–  mood disorders including psychosis such as schizophrenia as well anxiety and depression
–  drug and alcohol addictions
–  neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
–  hearing disorders
–  gastrointestinal disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome
–  genitourinary disorders such as urinary incontinence and interstitial colitis
–  sexual dysfunction
–  neuroprotection such as cerebral ischemia, stroke and traumatic brain injury
–  metabolic disorders such as diabetes and obesity
–  cardiovascular disease
–  cancer
–  pain, including chronic neuropathic and inflammatory as well as acute
–  sleep disorders
–  overactive bladder
–  renal disease
–  male birth control

Some of the excellent calcium channel labs performing research in many of these areas include:

Asia

Dr. Atsufumi Kawabata
Division of Pharmacology and Pathophysiology
Kinki University School of Pharmacy
Web: http://www.phar.kindai.ac.jp/byoutai/index.files/English-HP/byoutai-Eng.htm

Dr. Hee-Sup Shin
Center for Neural Science
Korea Institute of Science and Technology
Web: http://brain.kist.re.kr/korean/portal.php

Dr. Tuck-Wah Soong
Department of Physiology
National University of Singapore
Web: http://medicine.nus.edu.sg/phys/FacultyMembers_Soong.html

Australia

Dr. David Adams
Health Innovations Research Institute
RMIT University
Web: http://www.rmit.edu.au/research/institutes/healthinnovations

Dr. Christie MacDonald
Sydney Medical School
University of Sydney
Web: http://sydney.edu.au/medicine/people/academics/profiles/macc.php

Canada

Dr. Kerry Delaney
Department of Biology
University of Victoria
Web: http://web.uvic.ca/delaneylab/

Dr. Zhong-Ping Feng
Department of Physiology
University of Toronto
Web: http://www.physiology.utoronto.ca/res/list/feng.htm

Dr. Terrance P. Snutch
Michael Smith Laboratories
University of British Columbia
Web: http://www.snutchlab.msl.ubc.ca/

Dr. Ray W. Turner
Hotchkiss Brain Institute
University of Calgary
Web: http://www.ucalgary.ca/~rwturner

Dr. Gerald W. Zamponi
Hotchkiss Brain Institute
University of Calgary
Web: http://www.ucalgary.ca/physiology/faculty/primary-members/gerald-w-zamponi

Middle East

Dr. Nathan Dascal
Department of Physiology and Pharmacology
Tel Aviv University
Web: http://medicine.mytau.org/dascal

South America

Dr. Osvaldo Uchitel
Departmento de Fisiología Biología Molecular y Celular
Universidad de Buenos Aires
Web: http://www.ifibyne.fcen.uba.ar/LFBM/english/e_neurocienciasIII.htm

USA

Dr. Kurt Beam
Department of Physiology and Biophysics
School of Medicine, University of Colorado
Web: http://www.uchsc.edu/physiology/faculty/beam.htm

Dr. Ilya Bezprozvanny
Department of Physiology
UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas
Web: http://www4.utsouthwestern.edu/ilya

Dr. Amy Lee
Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics
University of Iowa
Web: http://www.physiology.uiowa.edu/lee/index.html

Dr. Diane Lipscombe
Department of Neuroscience
Brown University
http://neuroscience.brown.edu/LipscombeLab/homepage/home2.htm

Dr. Daniel L. Minor, Jr.
Departments of Biochemistry & Biophysics,
and Cellular & Molecular Pharmacology
University of California, San Francisco
Web:  http://www.cvri.ucsf.edu/~dminor/

Dr. Slobodan Todorovic
Department of Anesthesiology
University of Virginia School of Medicine
Web: http://www.healthsystem.virginia.edu/internet/neuroscience/faculty/faccell-mole.cfm?uva_id=st9d&hideintro=1

Dr. Jian Yang
Department of Biological Sciences
Columbia University
Web: http://www.columbia.edu/cu/biology/faculty-data/jian-yang/faculty.html

UK and Europe

Dr. Emilio Carbone
Department of Neuroscience
CNISM Research Unit, Torino
Web: http://www.personalweb.unito.it/emilio.carbone/

Dr. Annette C. Dolphin
Department of Neuroscience, Physiology and Pharmacology
University College of London
Web: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/~ucklado/

Dr. Steffan Hering
Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology
University of Vienna
Web: http://www.univie.ac.at/ptox/

Dr. Stefan Herlitze
Department of Zoology and Neurobiology
Ruhr-University Bochum
Web: http://www.ruhr-uni-bochum.de/neurobiol/index.html.de

Dr. Philippe Lory
Department of Physiology and Neuroscience
University of Montpellier
Web: http://www.igf.cnrs.fr/recherche/axes-thematiques/neurosciences/135-p-lory

 

Dr. Daniela Pietrobon
Department of Biomedical Sciences
University of Padova
Web: http://www.biomed.unipd.it/index.php/it/ricerca/faculty/142-pietrobon-group

Dr. Gary Stephens
School of Pharmacy
The University of Reading
Web: http://www.reading.ac.uk/pharmacy/about/staff/g-j-stephens.aspx

Dr. Jörg Striessnig
Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology
University of Innsbruck
Web: http://www.uibk.ac.at/pharmazie/pharmakologie/striessnig.html

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