Anant Parekh investigates how cells communicate with one another, with an emphasis on how the ubiquitous intracellular signalling messenger calcium controls biological functions such as secretion, energy production and gene expression. Anant is interested in how aberrant calcium signals can contribute to ill health in humans, including allergies and asthma.
Using various cell model systems and human tissue, he studies the physiology, cell biology and biochemistry of store-operated calcium channel proteins. Opening of these channels leads to calcium entry into the cell from the blood, triggering important physiological responses. Too much or too little calcium entry can lead to disease and tissue damage and another research interest of Anant’s is the development of drugs that target calcium channels for therapeutic use.
Anant has received several awards for his research, including the Wellcome and GL Brown Prizes in Physiology in recognition of his transformative contributions to the fields of signal transduction. He was elected a member of Academia Europaea in 2002 and the UK Academy of Medical Sciences in 2012.
Professor of Physiology, Department Of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics, University of Oxford