Edward Perez-Reyes

Professor of Pharmacology

University of Virginia



Calcium entry via voltage-gated calcium channels is a key event in neuronal firing, muscle contraction, gene expression, and secretion of neurotransmitters and hormones. Importantly, voltage-gated calcium channels are the site of action of a number of clinically relevant drugs, termed "calcium channel blockers."

The major contribution of the Perez-Reyes laboratory has been on the molecular physiology and pharmacology of voltage-gated calcium channels, and in particular, the cloning of low voltage-activated T-type calcium channels.  Their cloning opened many doors on their biophysics, localization, role in neuronal excitability, and pharmacology. This work combined a wide array of techniques such as molecular cloning, electrophysiological recordings of whole cell and single channel currents, and confocal microscopy.  For review see: “Molecular physiology of low-voltage-activated T-type calcium channels” Physiol. Rev. 83:117-161, 2003, PMID: 12506128.  For a complete listing see the verified Google Scholar page.


Current work in the lab is focused on developing drug-inducible gene therapies.   In these projects we are leveraging our experience in molecular cloning to develop novel adeno-associated viral (AAV) targeting vectors capable of delivering either short-hairpinned RNAs (shRNAs) or genes of interest.  One project, funded by NINDS, is to develop a treatment to stop seizures in focal epilepsies, such as temporal lobe epilepsy.  This project was originally funded by a CURE Challenge Award, which allowed us to validate the AAV delivery of a modified K+ leak channel to reduce status epilepticus (Epilepsia: PMID: 24299204).   A second project, funded by UVa’s Launchpad for Diabetes, is to develop an insulin replacement therapy.  Both projects are made possible by collaborations with local experts, including Jaideep Kapur, Doug Bayliss, Mark Beenhakker, Manoj Patel, Ukpong Eyo, and Thurl Harris.


We find these new translational projects very exciting and hope they will have a major impact on patient care.


Recently honored as one of the most Highly Cited Researchers for 2019 by the Web of Science.


Current lab members:

Iuliia Vitko, Instructor

Deborah L. Perez-Reyes, Lab Specialist

Justyna Straub, Lab Specialist, Polish Master’s Exchange Program graduate

Pranav Ravichandran, UVa Class of 2020, 2019 Minerva Scholars Award

Elsa Nylund, UVa Class of 2020, 2019-2020 Harrison Research Award

Bailey McGrew, UVa Class of 2020

Ngoc Thai, UVa Class of 2022

Jocelyn Brown, Lab Specialist.

Igor Correia Rocha, Visiting Graduate student from the University of Sao Paulo

Kathryn Dotterweich, UVA Class of 2021




Former lab members who left in the last few years:

Julianna Kang, UVa Class of 2019.

Celine Nguyen, UVa Class of 2019.

Cassidy Burke, UVa Class of 2018, NIH Post-Baccalaureate Program.

Ji Won Kim, UVa Class of 2017, Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences F. Edward Hebert School of Medicine, Class of 2022.

Agnieszka Gawda, Polish Master’s Exchange Program, Class of 2017.

Kathyrn Brodie, UVa Class of 2015, Drexel University College of Medicine.

Kyle Sullivan, UVa Class of 2015, Ohio State University Neuroscience Graduate Program, Class of 2020.

Deblina Dey, UVa Neuroscience Graduate Program, Class of 2015, post-doc at U.C.-Irvine.

Joel Baumgart, UVa Neuroscience Graduate Program, Class of 2008, Assistant Vice Provost, Emory University

Veit Simon-Eckle, former post-doc, Assistant Professor at the University of Tubingen

Alex Shcheglovitov, former post-doc, Assistant Professor at the University of Utah.

For a complete list of scientific contributions see my verified profile on Google Scholar: perez-reyes e

Contact eperez@virginia.edu

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