The research that is carried out in our laboratory is mainly focused on the influence of drugs that affect the function of the cardiovascular system. It is quite evident that under a number of pathophysiological conditions (i.e. heart failure, hypovolemic/cardiogenic shock, hypertension), the function of this system is compromised. This, in part, is the result of alteration in the function of cardiac, as well as, vascular system. Certainly, adequate cardiac output and blood pressure are needed for maintenance of life. It is also well recognized that the activity and functional integrity of smooth muscle in blood vessels (arteries and veins) has a significant impact on blood pressure and cardiac output. Presently, a number of different classes of drugs that have a direct influence on the function of blood vessels, are routinely used to improve and stabilize a dysfunctional cardiovascular system. However, in many disease states, the exact mechanisms by which these cardiovascular drugs modify biological function remains unclear.
Therefore, the main objectives of our research is to elucidate and determine the mechanism(s) by which chemicals affect vascular muscle and cardiac function. Basic pharmacological research in our laboratory on the cardiovascular system involves the use of in vivo and in vitro techniques. Moreover, both traditional pharmacological as well as modern biochemical techniques are utilized to assess the effects of chemicals on blood vessels and the myocardium. In general, the nature of the research can be sub-divided into two categories. (1) The use of drugs with established pharmacological actions as probes to determine cellular communications which are involved and are utilized in the control of vascular smooth muscle function and therefore blood vessel tone. (2) Investigation into the impact that novel chemicals have on the cardiovascular system in pathophysiological states such as heart failure (acute & chronic), hypovolemia, and hypertension. With the main objective of the research being to understand how different conditions affect cellular communications in blood vessels, and how drugs impact these functions.