Molecular and Cellular Physiology
The investigation of molecular and cellular functions is of paramount importance for understanding basic cellular and organismal physiological processes. Only this complete and detailed understanding will allow for effective analysis of disease states, and provide the basis for development of targeted pharmacological intervention. Research in the department focuses primarily on understanding basic signaling and ion transport systems that regulate vascular function, contractility, and vascular growth in a variety of cellular environments. Of primary interest to our group are the cerebral vasculature, arteriole muscle cells, and vascular endothelial cells. Commonly used experimental approaches include patch clamp analysis of ion channel currents, measurement of brain cerebral blood flow using laser-Doppler flowmetry, biochemical assay of lipid metabolites, reactive oxygen species, protein kinases and protein phosphatases, intracellular electrophysiological recording from muscle cells within intact arterial segments utilizing standard glass microelectrodes, television microscopy, oxygen microelectrodes, and other basic molecular approaches to characterize proteins and cellular mediators involved in these cellular mechanisms.