University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Foster Talks > GL Brown Lecture: Calcium in the heart: from physiology to disease

GL Brown Lecture: Calcium in the heart: from physiology to disease

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Calcium is the master controller of cardiac function. It needs to increase on each beat to trigger the heart to contract to pump blood. It must fall to low enough levels between beats so that the heart can relax to fill again with blood. Heart disease, the major killer world-wide, is associated with abnormal calcium signaling.

It is 130 years since Sydney Ringer found that calcium is required for cardiac contraction. Enormous progress has been made recently in unraveling the regulation of calcium but there is much left to do.

In this lecture I will present an overview of cardiac calcium signaling, showing how imaging, electrophysiology, molecular tools and animal models have contributed to our understanding of the physiology.The first half of the talk will concentrate on the simple, yet elegant mechanisms that regulate calcium. The remainder will focus on abnormal calcium regulation and how this can lead to some of the changes seen in heart failure as well as contributing to the origins of cardiac arrhythmias.

This talk is part of the Foster Talks series.

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