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Department of Pharmacology

Department of Pharmacology

Leighton Izu, Ph.D.

Leighton Izu, Ph.D

Associate Professor
Ph.D., State University
of New York
(530) 752-0324

Research Funding

National Institutes of Health

Graduate Group Affiliations

Lab Page

Izu Lab

Research Interests

Effect of spatial distribution of molecules on cellular dynamics. We are particularly interested in how subtle spatial redistribution of ryanodine receptors, brought on by changes in myofilament Ca2+ sensitivity, alters the stability of the Ca2+ control system. An understanding of the interaction of the mechanical and Ca2+ control systems might provide insight into why patients with familial hypertrophic cardiomyopathy are at a high risk of sudden cardiac death.

Inverse methods. Drugs or mutations can affect many cellular subsystems. We are using inverse methods to identify the cellular targets of these drugs or mutations. Once identified, targeted experiments can be carried out to test whether the putative targets are in fact affected by the drug or mutation directly or indirectly.

Selected Publications

Izu, L.T., T. Bányász, and Y. Chen-Izu. Ca2+ dynamics, Ca2+ waves and the topography of the Ca2+ control system. UNESCO-Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems: Biological, Physiological, and Health Sciences. (2009). 

Chen-Izu, Y.*, L. Chen, T. Bányász, S.L. McCulle, B. Norton, S.M. Scharf, A. Agarwal, A.R. Patwardhan, L.T. Izu, C.W. Balke (2007). Hypertension-induced remodeling of cardiac excitation-contraction coupling in ventricular myocytes occurs prior to hypertrophy development. Am. J. Physiol. 293:H3301-3310 (2007). Cit: 6 

Chen-Izu, Y., S.L. McCulle, C.W. Ward, C. Soeller, B. Allen, C. Rabang, M. B. Cannell, C.W. Balke, and L.T. Izu* (2006) Three-dimensional distribution of ryanodine receptors in rat cardiac myocytes. Biophys. J. 91:1—13. Cit: 26 

Izu, L.T.*, S.A. Means, Y. Chen-Izu, J.N. Shadid, and C.W. Balke (2006). Interplay of Ryanodine Receptors Distribution and Calcium Dynamics. Biophys. J. 91:95—112. 

Bányász, T., Y. Chen-Izu, C.W. Balke, and L.T. Izu* (2007). A new approach to the detection and statistical classification of Ca2+ sparks. Biophys. J. 92:4458-4465. 

Izu, L.T.*, T. Bányász, C. W. Balke, and Y. Chen-Izu (2007). Eavesdropping on the social lives of Ca2+ sparks. Biophys. J. 93:3408-3420. 

Chen-Izu, Y.*, C. Ward, W. Stark Jr., T. Bányász, M. Sumandea, C. Balke, L.T. Izu, and X. Wehrens (2007). Phosphorylation of RyR2 and shortening of RyR2 cluster spacing in spontaneously hypertensive rat with heart failure. Am. J. Physiol. Heart Circ Physiol 293:H2409-H2417.

Izu, L.T., W.G. Wier, and C.W. Balke (1998). Theoretical analysis of the Ca2+ spark amplitude distribution.Biophys. J. 75:1144-1162. 

See: Complete List of Publications 

Recent/Current Teaching

Medical Pharmacology, cardiovascular drugs

BIM 189A, Bioelectricity, Biomechanics, and Signaling Systems