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Margarida Ruas


Post-doctoral Research Fellow

  • Departmental Senior Radiation Protection Supervisor

My research focuses on the role of the second messenger NAADP (nicotinic acid adenine dinucleotide phosphate) as a Ca2+-release agent from acidic organelles. Ca2+ signalling from acidic organelles is involved in important physiological processes such as metabolism, heart function, muscle contraction and viral infection.

My main research question relates to the mechanism by which NAADP activates the Ca2+-permeable channels known as TPCs (two-pore channels). The work relies on of a variety of biochemical, molecular biology, gene editing, and fluorescent microscopy techniques that I use in cell-based assays and on animal models.

By understanding the precise way by which NAADP can regulate Ca2+ release via TPC channels, we will be able to develop pharmacological agents to manipulate this signalling pathway. Not only will this have an impact on the understanding of a fundamental biological process, it can, in addition, lead to development of drugs for intervention in health and disease.