- Brain Awareness Week
Local Ca2+ signaling in health and diseases
Our laboratory is focused on understanding the role of highly spatio-temporal localized Ca2+ signals, namely Ca2+ sparks, in normal cell function and diseases (e.g., heart failure, arrhythmias and other diseases). We use state of the art techniques such as patch-clamp and laser scanning confocal microscopy in combination with genetic mouse models to investigate the cellular mechanisms of Ca2+ regulation and dysregulation. Specifically, we are studying 1) the structure-function relationship between t-tubule system and Ca2+ handling in normal and diseased hearts. In this project, we are testing our hypothesis that t-tubule remodeling plays critical role in Ca2+ release instability and therefore Ca2+-dependent arrhythmogenesis in cardiomyopathies; 2) Local Ca2+ signaling and sinoatrial node automaticity. In the second project, we are testing our hypothesis that Ca2+ sparks are highly locally controlled in sinoatrial nodal cells and that dys-regulation of local Ca2+ signaling in SAN cells contributes to pacemaker dysfunction.Our research projects are funded by National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.