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Cellular Pharmacology

With a focus on discovering new medicines, cellular pharmacology investigates the biochemical and molecular actions of drugs on cultured cells. The endothelium is a single layer of cells, which lines all blood vessels. In healthy individuals it helps optimise the circulation of blood through tissues by dilating blood vessels and by preventing blood clots from forming by creating a non-stick surface. In cardiovascular disease and inflammatory processes the function of the endothelium changes, and these beneficial effects are diminished. We use cultured endothelial cells to research novel ways to prevent adverse changes in the endothelium in order to develop treatments, which will restore normal function and diminish the occurrence of life-threatening events such as myocardial infarction and stroke. We have a particular interest in what triggers untoward changes in the endothelium, and are developing treatments, which inhibit the synthesis of the vasoconstrictor peptide called endothelin, and block pro-coagulatory and pro-inflammatory changes. By giving financial support to this work you will speed the progress to new treatments for a number of cardiovascular diseases where the endothelium is damaged and cannot be treated by medicines that are currently available. These include chronic heart failure, hypertension, atherosclerosis, pulmonary hypertension, and peripheral vascular disease. This work on endothelial cell function is also likely to yield medicines to control high blood pressure in pregnancy resulting from a common vascular complication called pre-eclampsia.

Further information on the benefits of supporting our work can be obtained from r.corder@mds.qmw.ac.uk.

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