Dr. Vijay Rajagopal (Dept. of Biomedical Engineering, University of Melbourne)
Title: Dissecting the role of the internal architecture of cardiac cells on calcium signaling in the heart using computational models.
Abstract: Calcium plays a central role in how our hearts beat. Each heartbeat is governed by the cyclic rise and fall of calcium in the cell cytoplasm through various co-ordinated and tightly regulated electrical and chemical processes. Calcium also plays a crucial role in determining when our heart muscle will grow in order to increase the force with which the heart beats as long-term demand for blood supply is increased. This process of cell and heart muscle growth is termed hypertrophy and is analogous to how our skeletal muscles grow through weight training. Exactly how calcium can regulate beat-to-beat muscle contraction and also send a signal to the cell nucleus for long-term growth is unclear. In this talk I will present our research into how the spatial organisation of ion-channels that govern calcium concentration in the cytoplasm affect calcium dynamics in the cell for beat-to-beat contraction and hypertrophic growth.
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