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Leona Rubin , PhD

Associate Professor, Veterinary Biomedical Sciences, Dalton Investigator


Veterinary Biomedical Sciences
E102 Veterinary Med Bldg
Columbia, MO 65212


Dr. Rubin is currently the Director of the Swine Hormone Core.


Dr. Rubin's research is focused on understanding cellular pathways that regulate cardiovascular function during health and disease states. There are three major projects within the laboratory: 1) How do immune mediators, released during inflammatory conditions (endotoxemia/sepsis, atherosclerosis) cause myocardial and/or vascular failure? Investigations focus on alterations in second messenger system(s) and cellular targets such as potassium and calcium channels. Therapeutic modalities also are probed as a means to identify affected pathways. 2) What are the cellular pathways that mediate vascular hypoxic vasodilation? Matching of blood flow to meet tissue substrate needs is a fundamental property of the vasculature. However, the signals and vascular mechanisms responsible for dilation are unknown. We have targeted three sites for involvement in hypoxic vasodilation, AMP-activated kinase, Akt and voltage-dependent potassium channels. 3) What is the role of sex hormones in modulating cardiovascular function? Specifically, do sex hormones alter expression of voltage-dependent potassium channels in either vascular smooth muscle or the myocardium? Myocardial studies examine both intrinsic (potassium currents of cardiac myocytes) and extrinsic (heart rate variability) control of heart rate. Methodologies include those needed to: 1) measure contraction, Ca2+, and ionic currents of isolated ventricular myocytes; 2) measure intracellular second messenger molecules, their substrates and products (gel electrophoresis ion chromatography, high performance liquid chromatography, gas chromatography and mass spectrometry), 3) in vitro physiology of vascular function and 4) in vivo assessment of heart rate variability. Our animal models include a swine model of sex hormone replacement (estrogen or testosterone), guinea pig and rat models of endotoxemia and genetically modified mouse models lacking components of signaling pathways that regulate cardiovascular function.


More information on Dr. Rubin and her lab can be found here.

Research Areas of Interest

Biological physics
Cardiovascular biology/ research
Cell biology
Cellular signaling
Confocal fluorescence microscopy
Hormone action
Membrane potentials
Membrane transport
Physiological recordings
Protein biology
Protein phosphorylation
Receptor biology
Signal transduction