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University of Texas researcher earns APS Bowditch award

WASHINGTON -- Epithelial sodium channels (ENaC) are hardly household words, but if these channels are not working right, the serious condition of high blood pressure (hypertension) may result, putting the sufferer at risk for heart disease, stroke, congestive heart failure and kidney disease.

Approximately 30% of the U.S. adult population suffers from hypertension, but about one-third of them dont even know it, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC listed the disease as a primary or contributing cause of death for 277,000 Americans in 2002.

James D. Stockand, a researcher at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, studies epithelial sodium channels in the cells of the kidney, lungs and colon. His research may lead to a better understanding of how these cells regulate salt and could one day be used to control hypertension.

Its not going to happen tomorrow, but this research will allow people doing translational research to better the treatment methods for hypertension, Dr. Stockand said. The American Physiological Society has awarded Stockand the 2007 Henry Pickering Bowditch Memorial Award for early-career achievement. The award goes to a scientist younger than 42 years whose accomplishments are both original and outstanding. It is the Societys second-highest award.

Dr. Stockand, an associate professor at his university, will present the Bowditch lecture New insight into the regulation of ENaC by small G proteins and phosphatidylinositides, at 5:45 p.m., Sunday, April 29, at the APS session of Experimental Biology 2007 in Ballroom B the Washington Convention Center. The APS plans an entire track on ion channels, underlining the importance of this area of research.

Cellular function and salt

Cells are dynamic units which allow in nutrients while barring unwanted substances. Cells achieve this dynamic activity in part through various ion ch
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Contact: Chris Guilfoy
CGuilfoy@The-APS.org
301-634-7253
American Physiological Society
29-Apr-2007


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