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Affinity Groups update - Cardiovascular & Respiratory Pharmacology Affinity Group

Published: 01 Feb 2018
Category: Affinity groups
By Christopher Garland, Jillian Baker

The Cardiovascular & Respiratory Pharmacology Affinity Group aims to provide a supportive, inclusive forum for Society members with an interest in all aspects of cardiovascular and respiratory pharmacology.

This encompasses the whole spectrum of pharmacology, so will be of relevance to members interested in medicinal chemistry, cellular, tissue and whole organism responses, and those involved in human clinical studies. The aim is to provide an overarching forum for pharmacological aspects of normal physiological responses through to studies in different disease states, including the effect of existing drugs as well as novel interventions. Those who are already a member of other Society Affinity Groups, who may also have cardiovascular or respiratory interests, are also encouraged to join the Cardiovascular & Respiratory Pharmacology Affinity Group.

Cardiovascular and respiratory research has always been very strongly represented at British Pharmacology Society meetings, with many oral and poster communications and symposia. Pharmacology 2017 will be no exception;

  • In partnership with the British Society for Cardiovascular Research, we are presenting a symposium: ‘Cardiovascular pleiotropy, fact or fantasy?’ where we will explore cardiovascular benefits of drugs used for diabetes as well as statins and anti-platelet targets
  • We will also explore coagulation and thrombosis in disease states in the symposium: ‘Clearing the blockage: bench to bedside approaches for clearing inflammation-induced thrombosis’
  • A third symposium will concentrate on hypertension, with particular emphasis on the immune system: ‘Immune targets in hypertension’

Inflammation and cytokine-based therapies are also explored in other symposia, aligned with the Integrated Systems Pharmacology Affinity Group, with specific emphasis on cardiovascular disease and acute and chronic lung inflammation (‘Cytokine-based therapies in inflammatory diseases’).

Over the past year, events organised by the Cardiovascular & Respiratory Pharmacology Affinity Group have included a Society Focused Meeting at Magdalen College, University of Oxford last September on ‘Pharmacological aspects of microvascular cell-cell signalling and CVS disease’, which attracted delegates and speakers from across Europe, and as far away as Australia and the USA.

Overall, we welcome you to the Cardiovascular & Respiratory Pharmacology Affinity Group, and if you are not already a member, we encourage you to sign up on the Society's website. We look forward to welcoming you to Pharmacology 2017 and seeing you in London. Finally, we are always keen to hear your thoughts and ideas about Focused Meetings or events you would like us to organise, and suggestions for symposia we should include in future Society meetings.

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About the author


Chris Garland leads the vascular pharmacology group in Oxford, with Professor Kim Dora. The group use advanced imaging and electrophysiological approaches with isolated arterioles, to study how signalling occurs between the cells in these minute vessels, to control blood flow through the microcirculation and impact on blood pressure. The focus of the group is to unravel how calcium activated potassium channels in endothelial cells are recruited to attenuate the smooth muscle contraction which reduces arteriolar diameter see, for example, Sci. Signal. 10, eaal3806 (2017). Their research includes the use of human coronary arterioles, to investigate the impact of vascular disease.


Jillian Baker is a practicing medic working in the area of adult respiratory and sleep medicine in Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham and sees first-hand many of the short-comings of current drugs. Her research interests are therefore two-fold. Firstly, she is interested in the molecular pharmacology of GPCRs, including drugreceptor selectivity, and understanding how drugs interact with receptors to cause changes in the cell behaviour. Secondly, she combines her clinical and pharmacology knowledge to understand how clinical drugs act, why side effects occur, and to identify novel drugs for medical conditions with few treatment options. Her ultimate aim is to improve clinical drug treatments for patients.