Department of Pharmacology
As a pharmacologist and medicinal chemist I am fascinated by the largely untapped therapeutic potential of ion channel modulation and have made it my research aim to develop specific ion channel modulators as research tools and as potential drugs for the treatment of autoimmune, cardiovascular and neurological diseases. The primary focus of the work in my laboratory is the role of the voltage-gated K+ channel Kv1.3 and the calcium-activated K+ channel KCa3.1 in the immune system. After successfully designing potent and selective blockers for both channels and demonstrating that Kv1.3 and KCa3.1 indeed constitute novel targets for autoimmune diseases and fibroproliferative disorders, we are currently exploring the usefulness of Kv1.3 and KCa3.1 blockers for reducing microglia activation in stroke and Alzheimer’s disease. We also embarked on the design of KCa2/3 channel activators as potential therapeutics for hypertension, epilepsy and ataxia. My long-term goal is to translate at least one of the channel targets validated by our work into a clinically used therapy.