Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

About the PNAS Member Editor
Name Clapham, David E.
Location Harvard University
Primary Field Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
Secondary Field Physiology and Pharmacology
 Election Citation
Clapham has contributed immensely to our understanding of calcium ions channels, the most common signal transduction element in cells. Through pioneering studies he has discovered and elucidated the mechanisms regulating a number of novel calcium ion channels, which may potentially lead to the development of drugs that alleviate cardiac arrhythmias.
 Research Interests
Calcium ions regulate almost all aspects of the life of a cell. Cells of the heart, brain, and muscle are equipped with specialized voltage-sensitive, highly calcium-selective ion channels. Opening of these channels provides the sharp, decisive rise in calcium that initiates rapid contraction in heart and skeletal muscle, as well as the secretion of transmitters in neurons. Other cells, such as those in blood and solid organs, use a distinct set of calcium-permeant channels. These channels control cellular aspects as diverse as cell migration, secretion, and apoptosis. We investigate ways that calcium enters cells via all classes of ion channels. We are interesting in aspects ranging from high-resolution protein structure to the genetics and physiology of these ion channels.

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