My research focuses on understanding cardiac ion channel function and its regulation under both physiological and pathophysiological conditions. We work towards the development of effective new therapeutic modalities for the cardiac conditions, such as arrhythmogenic disorders that lead to millions of deaths worldwide every year.
My group has made fundamental contributions towards identification of the novel roles of a multifunctional enzyme-p21 activated kinase (Pak1) in the heart. We demonstrated that Pak1 is central to the regulation of cardiac excitation and is a critical signalling hub in cardioprotection. We also have established Pak1 as a novel therapeutic target for treating cardiac disease conditions including cardiac arrhythmias.
Using optogenetics, we recently identified a novel cardiomyocyte subpopulation with potential endocrine capability. Using a high speed optical mapping with high spatiotemporal resolution, we are studying cellular/subcellular Ca2+ activity in intact living cardiac tissues.
We are now working on the future treatment of heart diseases using Pak1 as a novel target. Using structure-based rational drug design, we have already developed a series of novel Pak1 activator compounds as starting point compounds for the future drug development for the cardiac conditions.
As well as taking an active role in teaching in undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, I am a Fellow of Royal Society of Biology and serve as editorial board member for Experimental Physiology, Journal of Mol and Cell Cardiol and Frontiers in Physiol etc.