Peter R. Brink, Professor and Chairman, Department of Physiology and Biophysics

Ph.D. University of Illinois, Urbana 1976 Physiology

The research effort in my laboratory focuses on intercellular communication mediated by gap junctions. The laboratory has an ongoing interest in connexins of cardiac myocytes and vascular smooth muscle cells. They are essential to processes such as vaso-motor tone and cardiac arrhythmias. Much of our effort focuses on quantification of gap junction selectivity to solutes of the size and charge of metabolites and second messengers. Our most recent data suggests that PKC is able to effect a selective alteration of Cx43 selectivity. We utilize site-directed mutagenesis along with electrophysiological and fluorometric methods to probe the nature of selectivity in gap junction channels