Imbalances in membrane excitability underlie a broad range of cardiac arrhythmias and conduction defects. Although we now know the genes encoding almost all ion channels, we have little understanding of how the macromolecular composition and relative numbers of different channel types is achieved to exert exquisite control over membrane potential changes in time. Even minor changes in this balance can lead to sudden... more »
Fifty years ago Prof. Harald Reuter of the University of Bern, Switzerland obtained the first experimentally supported evidence that the calcium channel is a physiologically distinct entity. Further stimulated by the synthesis of the dihydropyridine calcium channel blocker nifedipine, the field of calcium channel research rapidly encompassed cardiovascular and other powerful biomedical directions.