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Dr Andrew Blanks



Associate Professor


WMS - Cell and Development Biology
University of Warwick
Tel: +44(0)24 76968703
WebLink: Division homepage

Research Interests

Research Interests: Parturition in mammalian species, uterine physiology, microgenomics, molecular basis of electrogenesis in smooth muscle, mathematical biology. Summary:Rises in intracellular calcium are essential for contraction in myometrial smooth muscle. Calcium is not only an important second messenger for the generation of force via myosin light chain kinase, but also depolarizes the plasma membrane allowing for activation of other voltage dependent ion channels. This voltage dependent control of excitability is modulated in a gestation dependent manner in all mammalian species such that as gestation progresses the myometrium becomes increasingly excitable. These biophysical changes are mediated by alterations in ion channels, pumps, agonist receptors and the sub cellular architecture of heterogeneous cell types within the uterus. In order to considered the process of activation of the uterus in its entirety there is a requirement for a combination of molecular, biophysical, and modelling techniques.

Research Projects

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  • Wright, P. D., Kanumilli , S., Tickle, David, Cartland, J., Bouloc, N., Dale, T., Tresize, D. J., McCloskey, Conor, McCavera, Samantha, Blanks, Andrew M., Kettleborough, Catherine, Jerman, Jeff, 2015. A high-throughput electrophysiology assay identifies inhibitors of the inwardly rectifying potassium channel Kir7.1. Journal of Biomolecular Screening, Volume 20 (Number 6), pp. 739-747, View

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Post Graduate Supervision

  • Development of a method to characterise the expression profile of electrogenic transmembrane proteins in excitable cells Date of Completion:2014
  • The role of gap junctions in the excitability of the myometrial smooth muscle network Date of Completion:2014
  • An investigation into the combination of nifedipine with potassium channel openers as potential tocolytic therapy for preterm labour; and a novel potassium channel blocker as potential therapy for post-partum haemorrhage. Date of Completion:2015
  • A Rat Model Study of the Spatio-temporal Effects of Progesterone Signalling on the Transcriptome of Uterine Tissues During Pregnancy and Parturition Date of Completion:2015

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