Funded by the British Heart Foundation, my laboratory conducts research on the physiology of small arterial blood vessels. We use a wide number of techniques to investigate, at the molecular, cellular and intact tissue levels, how the contraction of the muscular walls of small arteries is regulated.
Often, our work focuses on how ion channels regulate excitation, but more recently we have begun to consider the possibility that accumulation of sodium in smooth muscle cells may determine excitability as well as sensitivity to adrenoceptor stimulation; a phenomenon that has been described previously, but for which there is presently no mechanistic understanding. Other work focuses on the origin and mechanism of the myogenic response to pressure of small arterial vessels, something that is fundamental to the normal function of the cardiovascular system.
My teaching is either in year one of the medical programme or year three of the Physiological Sciences programme. I am responsible for the Concepts and Techniques Element; a collaborative block of year three teaching that is shared between the departments of Anatomy and Physiology.
I organise and teach on a separate element of year three teaching, 'The cardiovascular system in health and disease'.
I currently coordinate the Undergraduate Ambassador's Scheme that provides year three students with an alternative to lab-based research projects, placing them in local secondary schools where they obtain first hand experience of teaching as well as conducting a research project.
I am a member of the department's Teaching Committee as well as the Faculty representative on both the eLearning Advisors Network eLAN, the eLearning Systems Project Board and the Portal Project Board.