Cardiovascular Research

The cardiovascular system provides the circulation of the blood, and includes the heart, the veins and the arteries. Disorders of the cardiovascular system are very common and are the most common causes of premature death. The Cardiovascular system is an enormous area of research, from molecular mechanisms to population health. In the Department, research into cardiovascular disease ranges from the study of cardiac metabolism, oxidative stress and proteases in health and disease to the ion channels and molecules that underlie the activity of vascular and cardiac muscle contractile function. Members of the Department engaged in cardiovascular research are:

Dr Po-Yin Cheung Dr Gary Lopaschuk
Dr Peter Light Dr Frances Plane
Dr James Hammond Dr Richard Schulz
Dr Andy Holt Dr Michael Zaugg

Diabetes Research

Diabetes is an endocrine disorder in which the hormone, insulin, either is present in insufficient amounts (generally from loss of the pancreatic beta cells that make and secrete it), or the body fails to respond to it. The result is inadequate control of blood glucose, which has profound consequences for health. Research in diabetes is a rapidly-growing area within the Department. Members of the Department of Pharmacology engaged in diabetes research are:

Dr Harley Kurata Dr Patrick MacDonald
Dr Peter Light

Molecular Pharmacology

The study of the actions of drugs at the molecular level. This includes investigation of the molecular basis of disease with the aim of developing pharmacologically active agents to modify or reverse the molecular changes associated with the disease. Molecular pharmacology is integral to modern rational drug design used by the pharmaceutical industry to develop new therapeutics - if one knows the detailed molecular structure of the drug interaction site on a protein, then one can design drugs to specifically interact with the target protein and reduce the off-target effects that are often associated with adverse actions of drugs. Knowledge of the molecular variability of drug metabolizing enzymes and drug transport proteins is also critical in the predication of drug effects and is a component of the developing practice of personalized (or precision) medicine. Members of the Department of Pharmacology engaged in molecular pharmacology research are:

Dr James Hammond Dr Elena Posse de Chaves
Dr. Harley Kurata Dr Rick Schulz
Dr Basil Hubbard Dr Simonetta Sipione
Dr Bradley Kerr Dr John Seubert

Neuroscience Research

Neuroscience is the study of the nervous system. Because disorders of the nervous system are not only quite common but also especially debilitating, many areas of research are related to identifying the Neuroscience mechanisms of such disorders to better understand them and provide new avenues for the development of medicines to treat them. In the Department, a number of research areas within the Neurosciences are represented, ranging from the molecular defects in Huntington's Disease, to the development of chronic pain, to obesity and to psychiatric disorders such as anxiety and depression. Researchers use techniques as varied as transgenic mice, multiphoton microscopy, biochemistry, molecular biology, patch clamp electrophysiology and behavioural analyses to unravel mechanisms of disease and identify targets for drug development. Members of the Department of Pharmacology engaged in neuroscience research are:

Dr William F Colmers Dr Simonetta Sipione
Dr, Anna Taylor Dr. Harley Kurata
Dr Bradley Kerr
Dr Elena Posse de Chaves