Professor David G Allen
F13 - Anderson Stuart Building
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The Laboratory of Muscle Cell Function analyses heart and skeletal muscle function both in health and disease. Our main approach has been to isolate single cells (ventricular muscle, skeletal muscle, pacemaker cells) and use fluorescent indicators to measure key intracellular ionic concentrations, for instance Ca2+, Na+ and pH together with indicators of function, such as force, shortening or electrical activity. Increasingly we use Western blotting, immunohistochemistry and expression systems to identify and localize proteins in the cells under study.
We also perform some whole animals studies, for instance running mice on treadmills and running wheels, to understand how exercise modifies muscle behaviour and how drugs modify disease processes.
Current national competitive grants*
Molecular mechanisms of cardiac function and disease
Graham R, Allen D, Fatkin D, Feneley M, Harvey R, MacDonald P
NHMRC Program Grant/Shared Research Support ($1,448,890 over 5 years)
* Grants administered through the University of Sydney
Sweden. (Karolinska Institute, Stockholm) Long running collaboration (since 1989) with Dr Hakan Westerblad on mechanisms of fatigue in skeletal muscle..
Germany. (Research Centre, Karlsruhe.) Dr Rudiger Rudolf and I have collaborated on a study of genetically-encoded calcium sensors in muscle..
Hong Kong S.A.R.. (Hong Kong Polytechnic University) Collaboration with Dr Ella Yeung on mechanisms of stretch-induced damage in muscle..
New Zealand. (University of Auckland) Collaboration with Dr Marie Ward on the stretch-dependence of cardiac muscle..
United States. (University of New York at Buffalo) Professor Fred Sachs and I have a shared interest in stretch-activated channels and their role in disease..