Calcium Homeostasis and Basal Entry in Vascular Smooth Muscle

Much research has been devoted to understanding how calcium enters stimulated vascular smooth muscle and causes muscle contraction. Defects in this process have been linked to diseases such as hypertension and peripheral vascular disease. But little research has been done on calcium entry in unstimulated muscle. Damon’s research suggests that a significant amount of calcium enters muscle even in the absence of a contraction-inducing stimulus. By investigating the pathways through which calcium enters vascular smooth muscle and skeletal muscle, Mr. Poburko aims to identify the specific role of calcium entry in causing diseases such as muscular dystrophy and chronic hypertension. Ultimately the research may point to new drug therapy targets for the diseases.