Electrophysiology Research Center established in Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences, United Arab Emirates University
Professor Chris Howarth (Physiology) and Doctor Murat Oz (Pharmacology) recently established an ‘Electrophysiology Research Center’ in the Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences (FMHS), United Arab Emirates University (UAEU).
The centre provides an environment, materials and technical assistance for national and international scientific researchers to carry out electrophysiological experiments in single cell or multicellular preparations.
The technical capabilities of the center are wide ranging. Whole animal biotelemetry makes it possible to measure various biological parameters in one location and transmit data across the Internet to another remote location. Hemodynamic systems are used to measure the amplitude and kinetics of force development in isolated heart preparations. Fluorescence photometry is used to assess changes in intracellular calcium or pH and video edge detection systems measure cell length, width and motion. Patch-clamp and microelectrode techniques are used to investigate current-voltage relationships in individual cells.
Work in the center is supported by technical staff, undergraduate medical and science students and graduates in UAEU Ph.D. and M.Sc. programs.
Khawla Salem, an Emirati national, completed her Master’s (Pharmacology & Toxicology) in FMHS and is now registered in the UAEU Ph.D. program. Khawla said: “My experience as a Master’s student in the electrophysiology laboratory is continuing into my Ph.D. This experience is providing me with a wide knowledge in electrophysiology techniques and methods. Moreover, it has given me confidence to achieve my goal to be an effective scientist. It has been a privilege to work in the electrophysiology laboratory”.
The center has ongoing collaborations with various national and international research laboratories in the United States of America, United Kingdom, Ukraine and other countries. Dr Kathryn Yuill (University of Bath, UK) is an expert in electrophysiology of the atrioventricular node which is an important electrical relay station between the atria and ventricles of the heart. In collaboration with Dr Yuill, the center is investigating the effects of type 1 and type 2 diabetes on electrical activity of the atrioventricular node. Other ongoing research projects include the actions of cannabinoids on the electrophysiology of cardiac myocytes; use of nanoparticles as drug delivery systems and the effects of psychoactive drugs on receptors and ion channels.
Activities of the centre are supported by our generous sponsors, which include Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for Medical Sciences, Emirates Foundation, National Research Foundation, UAEU, FMHS and LABCO in partnership with Sigma-Aldrich.
Dr. Ahmed Al Marzouqi, Assistant Dean for Research & Graduate Studies, FMHS, said: “Professor Chris Howarth and Doctor Murat Oz share interests in electrophysiology and so it made a lot of sense to enter into a collaboration and create a centre that has combined expertise and technical resources from both labs. I wish them the best of luck”.
Notes to Editors
United Arab Emirates University (UAEU)
- 21st Century research-based university, providing research solutions to support the UAE and, through its global partners, the wider world
- Founded in 1976 by HH Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan; the UAE’s first national university
- Chancellor: His Highness Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research
- Nine Faculties:
- Business & Economics
- Food & Agriculture
- Humanities & Social Sciences
- Information Technology
- Medicine & Health Science
- 12,500 students enrolled in Fall 2011/2012
- First PhD program in UAE national institution commenced in January 2010
- Strong focus on providing specific research solutions and benefits to society − the new model of a 21st Century university, furthering research as part of the global network of discovery and innovation
- Ranked 338 worldwide by the QS Ranking of International Universities