Brant Isakson, PhD, a professor of Molecular Physiology and Biological Physics and member of the Robert M. Berne Cardiovascular Research Center, has received the 2024 Robert M. Berne Distinguished Lectureship of the American Physiological Society
Dr. Isakson’s laboratory made the seminal discovery that hemoglobin alpha, a potent nitric oxide scavenger, is concentrated in myoendothelial gap junctions and regulates nitric oxide signaling. As a consequence, Hb alpha plays a previously unrecognized role in blood pressure regulation. He has established an important role for globins in cardiovascular physiology. Dr. Isakson’s research has also demonstrated the importance of pannexin-based purinergic signaling in the vasculature, showing their regulation of vasoconstriction, cellular proliferation, intercellular communication and signaling and their contribution to vascular health and disease.
The Berne Lectureship is in honor of one of the most distinguished members of the Cardiovascular Section, Robert M. Berne, MD, whose research focused on the local chemical regulation of tissue blood flow, with an emphasis on understanding the role of adenosine and how it elicits vasodilation. Dr. Berne (1918-2001) was a former chair of the Department of Physiology at the University of Virginia. This award is presented each year to an emerging leader in cardiovascular research whose current research is particularly stimulating, such that the presentation of this work would contribute to interest in, and growth of, the Cardiovascular Section of the American Physiological Society.