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Luis Polo-Parada, PhD

Assistant Professor, Department of Medical Pharmacology and Physiology, Dalton Investigator


Medical Pharmacology and Physiology
134 Research Pk Dr, Rm 302
Columbia, MO 65211


Dr. Polo-Parada's research interest is focused in two main areas: 

1) The development of the electrical activity of the different regions of the heart
The heart is the first organ to form during embryogenesis, and its function is critical for the proper development and survival of the embryo. Although some information on ion-transport genes and their protein products in normal and diseased myocardial tissue is available, little is known about the role of cardiac extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins during cardiac development or in healthy and diseased adult hearts. His interest is to elucidate the role of the ECM in the ionic-transport proteins and molecular basis of cardiac regional electrical specialization during development and in the adult heart.


2) The role of cell adhesion molecules in the development of diabetes type II.
My recent studies of Neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM) null mice have indicated that NCAM plays a fundamental role in the transmitter release mechanism in neuroendocrine cells through mediation of granule recruitment. Other studies have shown that NCAM plays a functional role in the proper segregation of cell during development of islets of Langerhans in the pancreas. His interest is to elucidate whether NCAM or other cell adhesion molecules, are directly involved in the proper organization of the islets of Langerhans and in glucose-mediated insulin secretion. I also intend to investigate, whether the expression of any of these cell adhesion molecules is affected in diabetic type II patients and animal models of the disease.


More information on Dr. Polo-Parada and his lab can be found here.

Research Areas of Interest

Cardiovascular biology/ research
Cell biology
Cellular signaling
Comparative physiology
Membrane transport
Microvascular physiology
Signal transduction