C. William Balke, MD
- Professor of Medicine, Chief of Cardiology, St. Louis Veteran Affairs Medical Center
- Chief of Cardiology, St. Louis VA Health Care System
Cardiac calcium homeostasis, SR calcium regulation.
My research interests focus on the role of individual ions (especially calcium) as second messengers in the regulation of a variety of cellular processes relevant to cardiovascular function. Active research projects include:
- The investigation of the cellular and molecular mechanisms of excitation-contraction-relaxation coupling in normal cardiac atrial and ventricular cells and multicellular preparations (i.e. trabeculae) obtained from animal and human hearts.
- The study of the cellular mechanisms responsible for the systolic and diastolic abnormalities of contraction characteristic of hypertensive heart disease (cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure) in single cells and trabeculae obtained from animal models of contractile dysfunction and failing human hearts.
- The investigation of the biophysical properties and physiological function of a newly described sodium channel in cardiac muscle.
Experimental techniques include:
- The patch clamp technique (whole-cell & single channel variations)
- Epifluorescence microscopy with ion-selective fluorescent indicators
- Fash photolysis of “caged” compounds
- Laser scanning confocal microscopy (single & two photon)
- Mathematical modeling