UMKC Muscle Biology Research Group

UMKC MUBIG cardiac muscle  Twice as many women die of stroke than breast cancer every year.

Vascular Smooth Muscle

My laboratory is focused on understanding fundamental mechanisms of cerebrovascular function. We use a variety of techniques to understand the physiology of cerebral arteries including myography, cell culture, electrophysiology, and molecular approaches. There are currently four main areas of research in the laboratory. First, we are investigating the function of the two-pore domain potassium channel protein TRAAK in cerebral arteries. Second, using the aorta we are examining how the phosphoinositide PI(3,5)P2 affects the contraction of smooth muscle by controlling calcium homeostasis. Third, we are using several models of bone and muscle disease to determine if reciprocal signaling exists between bone and the vasculature, and between skeletal muscles and the vasculature. Fourth, we are examining the possibility that the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPARα) has acute effects in cerebral arteries to modulate vascular tone on short time scales not involving changes in gene expression. In addition, we are interested in pathologic cardiovascular calcification, vascular smooth muscle hypertrophy, and effects of SCUBA diving on vascular function.

Laboratory Members

Postdocs: Nikhil Parelkar, Ph.D., Neerupama Silswal, Ph.D.

Medical students: Josh Vaughn, Kirsten Jansen, and Ben Favier

Contact us

Marco Brotto, B.S.N., M.S., Ph.D.
MUBIG Program Director
UMKC School of Nursing
Health Science Building
2464 Charlotte Street
Kansas City, MO 64108
Phone: 816-235-1959
Fax: 816-235-5515