My research is focused on cardiac excitation-contraction coupling and its regulation. Using a variety of techniques (for example voltage clamp, fluorescent ion indicators,whole cell and confocal microscopy, immunohistochemistry, RT-PCR and computer modelling) we are investigating how the rise of intracellular Ca2+ that causes contraction is initiated, and how it is regulated by intracellular 2nd messenger pathways. A particular interest is the role of the t-tubules (invaginations of the surface membrane of cardiac ventricular myocytes) in this process. We have recently developed a technique that allows us to physically and functionally uncouple the t-tubules from the surface membrane, enabling us to investigate their function. Using this technique we have been able to show that the t-tubules form a specialised region of the cell membrane for ion handling.