Epithelia & Membrane Transport

The Epithelia and Membrane Transport (EMT) theme is an exciting multidisciplinary field which is focused upon how molecules e.g. ions, solutes, nutrients or drugs are transported across the membrane of a single cell or across an epithelium. These transport mechanisms at the cellular level underpin a plethora of physiological processes including the generation of nerve impulses, cellular signalling, metabolism, muscle contraction, and cardiac function.

Epithelial transport in particular focuses upon the movement of molecules across epithelial barriers (i.e. sheets of cells) throughout the body and underpins key processes such as nutrient absorption in the gut, salt and water homeostasis via the kidneys, as well as mucociliary clearance in the airways. Dysregulation of these transport processes leads to disease states e.g. cystic fibrosis or hypertension. Research into epithelia and membrane transport physiology is therefore fundamental to both understanding pathophysiology and developing effective therapeutics for the future.

Specialities in this Theme

CSCellular signalling
CPComparative physiology
EMTEpithelia & membrane transport
GITGastrointestinal tract
ICIon channels
MEPMicrovascular & endothelial physiology
PPPlacental & perinatal physiology
RPRenal physiology
RespRespiratory physiology
SMSmooth muscle

Theme Leads

Mike Althaus, Lecturer in Animal Physiology, Newcastle University

I am a Lecturer in Animal Physiology in the School of Natural and Environmental Sciences at Newcastle University. My research focus is the molecular physiology of epithelial ion channels and transport proteins in vertebrates. My work in this field ranges from basic research on the function and regulation of epithelial ion transport processes in different animals, up to translational aspects in Biomedicine and Pharmacology. Becoming a Theme Lead in Epithelia and Membrane Transport (EMT) is a great chance to shape our vibrant EMT research community and I am particularly enthusiastic to promote EMT to the next generation of physiologists.

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Morag Mansley, Research Fellow, University of Aberdeen

I am a Kidney Research UK Intermediate Research Fellow at The University of Edinburgh. My research is focused on hormonal regulation of epithelial ion transport, particularly in the kidney, and how this impinges on blood pressure control. When I attended my first Physiological Society Main Meeting during my PhD I was fortunate enough to be introduced to the very welcoming Epithelia and Membrane Transport Theme. In our Theme’s sessions, I listened with great enthusiasm to the latest research into ion channel and transporter activity in the various epithelial tissues of the body. I have attended the Main Meeting nearly every year since then. The EMT Theme has become a very important community and part of my research life:  from the many scientific discussions over a coffee (or a glass of wine) and the exciting collaborations that have developed, to the ongoing friendships I have made. I was delighted to take on the role of Theme Lead for the EMT Theme. I am enthusiastic to contribute to this community which I was welcomed into more than a decade ago, to ensure it flourishes, and to help promote it to our next generation of EMT scientists.

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