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The Shiels Laboratory

Excitation-contraction coupling in ectotherm cardiomyocyte

Our research goal is to understand the mechanisms which maintain or adjust heart function in a changing environment.  To do this we isolate single cardiac cells from the hearts of fish and reptiles and use functional cellular physiology to understand adaptation/tolerance.  Our techniques include:

  • Electrophysiology to examine ion currents;
  • Confocal and epi-florescence microscopy to visualize and quantify ion flux inside living cells;
  • Molecular Biology and Protein Biochemistry to understand changes in RNA and protein expression;
  • Immunocytochemistry and immunohistochemistry to visualize structural changes inside cells;