Iain Andrew Greenwood

Iain Andrew Greenwood

Affiliate professor

My work is concerned with the study of ion channels- transmembrane pores which allow the passage of charged particles (ions) into and out of a cell - that are crucial for controlling cellular activity in the smooth muscle (involuntary muscle) of various tissues including blood vessels, intestines, uterus and bladder. At present it aims to define the role of specific ion channels in blood vessel smooth muscle activity under normal physiological circumstances or in disease conditions. My research have been funded by the British heart Foundation (UK), Medical Research Council (UK), Action Medical Research (UK) as well as the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (UK). 

Primary fields of research

1. Characterisation in vascular and visceral smooth muscle cells of the expression, functional role and regulation of potassium channels encoded by KCNQ genes and ether-a-go-go related genes, which are associated with a number of hereditary neuronal and cardiac diseases.

2. Characterisation of the molecular, biophysical and regulatory aspects of calcium-gated chloride channels, which underlie contraction of vascular smooth muscle cells.

3. Identified expression and a functional role for voltage-gated sodium channels (SCNA genes) – ion channels that open or close in response to electrical stimuli - and hyperpolarisation-activated cation channels (HCN genes) in vascular smooth muscle.

Current research

  • Smooth muscle contraction and regulation

  • Ion channel physiology

  • Ion channel regulation

  • Intracellular signalling


I have given lectures on basic and advanced Pharmacology to Biomedical Science and Medical Students. I have also lectured on cardiovascular therapeutics to Pharmacy students. I have supervised over 30 final year undergraduate project students as well as 6 PhD or Masters students. I have been responsible examiner and module leader for Biomedical Science and Pharmacy degrees.

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