Alex Dopico, MD, PhD, Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC), is known for his research in pharmacology and lipid regulation of ion channels in vascular smooth muscle. Dr. Dopico’s research along with those of other top researchers in the field of vascular ion channels are featured in a new book titled, “Vascular Ion Channels in Physiology and Disease.”
Dr. Dopico is one of the two editors and co-author of the book which was published by Springer and released this summer. The book blends Dr. Dopico’s background with that of his co-editor, Irena Levitan, PhD, Professor of Medicine and Adjunct Professor of Pharmacology and Bioengineering at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Dr. Irena’s expertise deals with ion channels in the endothelium and their regulation by cholesterol and stress forces. Ion channels select and permit the passage of ions in and out of cells.
Top research professionals in the field of vascular ion channels were personally recruited by Drs. Dopico and Levitan to participate and contribute to chapters in the book. This will allow the book to be used as a reference tool for not only research specialists, but also PhD candidates. Among those recruited were Jonathan Jaggar, PhD, and Maury Bronstein Professor in the Department of Physiology at UTHSC.
“Each chapter is written by an internationally recognized expert in the field based on his own work,” said Dr. Dopico. “The key goal for us was not for each researcher to just write a chapter summarizing other people’s work, but to write about the novel research they are actually doing and frame within the wider context of vascular physiology and pathology.”
The book is able to cover how ion channels transmit signals throughout vascular systems in normal human function or disease, and how these macromolecules may serve as therapeutic targets. Macromolecules are large molecules such as carbohydrates, lipids, nucleic acids and proteins. Dr. Dopico says the book is unique in presenting all three aspects from the perspective of experts and their recent work.
“This is the first volume that comprehensively addresses the role of vascular ion channels in normal physiology and disease and their possible use as therapeutic targets to treat prevalent conditions, such as arterial hypertension or cerebrovascular spasm. Having a single volume that acts as an umbrella for all of these topics is a big accomplishment.”