Professor Rasmussen has had a longstanding interest in regulation of the Na+-K+ pump in cardiac myocytes by hormones implicated in the pathogenesis of heart failure. His work has led to a paradigm shift in our understanding of how receptor- and protein kinase-dependent cell signalling regulate the pump, one of nature’s most fundamentally important protein molecules. Work from his laboratory has shown that effective drugs cause blockade of neurohormone-induced Na+-K+ pump inhibition, i.e., effectively pump stimulation, while drugs that turned out to be harmful in clinical trials cause inhibition. These results were in good agreement with firmly established adverse roles of raised myocyte Na+ levels in the molecular mechanisms of heart failure, but not with consensus views in the literature on effects of receptor-coupled, protein-kinase-dependent signalling on Na+-K+ pump activity in cardiac myocytes.
Prof Rasmussen has had extensive experience in the theoretical aspects of the protocols to be used. His dual role in clinical medicine and science places him in a good position for identifying scientific discoveries that may have clinical implications for treatments of heart disease.
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