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:


Dr. Atsufumi Kawabata
Division of Pharmacology and Pathophysiology
Kinki University School of Pharmacy

Dr. Hee-Sup Shin
Center for Neural Science
Korea Institute of Science and Technology

Dr. Tuck-Wah Soong
Department of Physiology
National University of Singapore


Dr. David Adams
Health Innovations Research Institute
RMIT University

Dr. Christie MacDonald
Sydney Medical School
University of Sydney


Dr. Kerry Delaney
Department of Biology
University of Victoria

Dr. Zhong-Ping Feng
Department of Physiology
University of Toronto

Dr. Terrance P. Snutch
Michael Smith Laboratories
University of British Columbia

Dr. Ray W. Turner
Hotchkiss Brain Institute
University of Calgary

Dr. Gerald W. Zamponi
Hotchkiss Brain Institute
University of Calgary

Middle East

Dr. Nathan Dascal
Department of Physiology and Pharmacology
Tel Aviv University

South America

Dr. Osvaldo Uchitel
Departmento de Fisiología Biología Molecular y Celular
Universidad de Buenos Aires


Dr. Kurt Beam
Department of Physiology and Biophysics
School of Medicine, University of Colorado

Dr. Ilya Bezprozvanny
Department of Physiology
UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas

Dr. Amy Lee
Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics
University of Iowa

Dr. Diane Lipscombe
Department of Neuroscience
Brown University

Dr. Daniel L. Minor, Jr.
Departments of Biochemistry & Biophysics,
and Cellular & Molecular Pharmacology
University of California, San Francisco

Dr. Slobodan Todorovic
Department of Anesthesiology
University of Virginia School of Medicine

Dr. Jian Yang
Department of Biological Sciences
Columbia University

UK and Europe

Dr. Emilio Carbone
Department of Neuroscience
CNISM Research Unit, Torino

Dr. Annette C. Dolphin
Department of Neuroscience, Physiology and Pharmacology
University College of London

Dr. Steffan Hering
Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology
University of Vienna

Dr. Stefan Herlitze
Department of Zoology and Neurobiology
Ruhr-University Bochum

Dr. Philippe Lory
Department of Physiology and Neuroscience
University of Montpellier

Dr. Daniela Pietrobon
Department of Biomedical Sciences
University of Padova

Dr. Gary Stephens
School of Pharmacy
The University of Reading

Dr. Jörg Striessnig
Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology
University of Innsbruck

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