Photo of Professor Caroline Dart

Professor Caroline Dart BSc, DPhil (Oxon)

Professor Molecular & Physiology Cell Signalling

    Research

    Research Interest 1

    I am interested in the cellular signalling mechanisms involved in the control of vascular smooth muscle contractility and thus blood flow/pressure. This is important for understanding both normal physiology and the progression of diseases such as hypertension and diabetes. I am particularly interested in the signalling roles played by ion channel proteins and, specifically, potassium (K+) channels. My group uses a variety of functional approaches to look at the flow and interaction of signalling molecules within live cells, which allows us to listen in on the cellular conversations that dictate whether an arterial muscle cell relaxes or contracts. Our main research techniques include: patch clamp electrophysiology; calcium imaging; FRET-based biosensor imaging and biochemical/ molecular biological techniques.

    Our recent projects involve (i) investigating the role of a family of novel cyclic AMP-binding effector proteins (Epacs or cAMP-GEFs) in mediating smooth muscle relaxation and (ii) assessing the role of cholesterol-enriched membrane microdomains (caveolae) in organising and regulating smooth muscle signalling pathways.

    Research Grants

    Signalling in Space and Time: Intracellular cyclic AMP dynamics in human vascular smooth muscle

    BIOTECHNOLOGY & BIOLOGICAL SCIENCE RESEARCH COUNCIL (BBSRC)

    May 2021 - April 2024

    Towards understanding cAMP signalling in the vasculature: Spatiotemporal activation of PKA and Epac by physiological vasodilators

    BRITISH HEART FOUNDATION (UK)

    March 2015 - February 2018

    Wellcome Trust Four-Year PhD Studentship Programme

    WELLCOME TRUST (UK)

    October 2017 - March 2022

    CASE Studentship Declan Manning

    UNILEVER PLC (UK)

    October 2017 - January 2022

    Understanding mechanisms of cardioprotection: The overlooked role of Kir6.1 in cardiac muscle

    BRITISH HEART FOUNDATION (UK)

    December 2016 - December 2018

    Bench Fees - Mona Alruwaili (201381585)

    ROYAL EMBASSY OF SAUDI ARABIA CULTURAL BUREAU IN LONDON (UK)

    December 2019 - November 2022

    PhD fees Fada Alanzani 201438408

    ROYAL EMBASSY OF SAUDI ARABIA CULTURAL BUREAU IN LONDON (UK)

    November 2019 - October 2021

    Bioninformatics-driven exploration of the caveolin interactome:Towards the development of specific modulators of pathogenic protein-protein interactions

    BRITISH HEART FOUNDATION (UK)

    November 2011 - October 2013

    The role of exchange protein directly activated by cAMP (epac) in regulating vascular contractivity

    BRITISH HEART FOUNDATION (UK)

    October 2010 - September 2013

    The role of Exchange Protein Directly Activated by cAMP (EPAC) in the regulation of arterial ATP-sensitive potassium (KATP) channels

    BRITISH HEART FOUNDATION (UK)

    July 2007 - June 2010