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Cornelis (Casey) van Breemen, DVM, PhD
Pathology & Laboratory Medicine,
UBC McDonald Research Laboratories / The iCAPTURE Centre
Room 292, 1081 Burrard Street
Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y6
Phone: (604) 682-2344 x 63226
Fax: (604) 806-8351
Email: cvanbreemen@mrl.ubc.ca


Areas of special interest and accomplishments
1964-67 Canadian Medical Research Fellowship
1971 The I.U.P.H.A.R. Fellowship
1972-77 Established Investigator of the American Heart Association
1991 Elected Chairman of the FASEB Smooth Muscle Conference for 1994
1991 Invited reviewer on "Excitation-Contraction Coupling in Smooth Muscle" by Physiological Review.
1991 Appointed to the NIH Parent Review Committee for the Program Project applications in Vascular Biology and Medicine.
1997 Director of the Vancouver Vascular Biology Research Centre

My research interests focus on the control of blood vessel function in health and disease. My specialty is Ca2+ signaling in smooth muscle and endothelial cells. Two intriguing questions in vascular Ca2+ signaling are: 1) How does one signaling ion "Ca2+ " control a number of separate functions in the same cell and 2) What are the ionic mechanisms responsible for vascular heterogeneity? Our working hypothesis is that the informational content of Ca2+ signaling is greatly enhanced by the ultrastructural alignment of different ionic transport molecules in the membranes of the ER, nuclear envelope, Golgi apparatus, mitochondria and the cell surface to cause local cytoplasmic Ca2+ gradients and oscillations. Our laboratory utilizes confocal microscopy combined with measurements of force and membrane currents and potentials to elucidate the mechanisms of intracellular Ca2+-signaling in smooth muscle and endothelial cells. In addition we are interested in relating changes in cell signaling in response to pathological insults to early functional changes in the development of vascular disease.

Education / Training:

Alberta Research Council Clinical Veterinary Medicine 1960-1961
University of Toronto DVM Ontario Veterinary College 1960
University of Alberta MSc Department of Physiology 1962
University of Alberta PhD Department of Pharmacology 1965


Karkan, D.M., van Breemen, C., Skarsgard, P.L., Lagaud, G.J., Hardwick, D.F. A link between vasomotion and spontaneous oscillations of oxygen in rat brain. Ad. Exp. Med. Biol. 471:111-6, 1999.

Whitehurst, R.M., Laskey, R., Goldberg, R.N., Herbert, D., van Breemen, C. Influence of group B streptococci on piglet pulmonary artery response to bradykinin. J. Appl. Physiol. 86(1):61-5, 1999.

Lagaud, G.J., Lam, E., Lui, A., van Breemen, C., Laher, I. Nonspecific inhibition of myogenic tone by PD98059, a MEK1 inhibitor, in rat middle cerebral arteries. Biochem. Biophysiol. Res. Comm. 257(2):523-7, 1999.

Wang, X., van Breemen, C. Depolarization-mediated inhibition of Ca(2+) entry in endothelial cells. Am. J. Physiol. 277(4 Pt 2):H1498-504, 1999.

Lagaud, G.J., Skarsgard, P.L., Laher, I., van Breemen, C. Heterogeneity of endothelium-dependent vasodilation in pressurized cerebral and small mesenteric resistance arteries of the rat. J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther. 290(2):832-9, 1999.

Li, L., Bressler, B., Prameya, R., Dorovini-Zis, K., van Breemen, C. Agonist-stimulated calcium entry in primary cultures of human cerebral microvascular endothelial cells. Microvasc. Res. 57(3):211-26, 1999.

Skarsgard, P.L., Wang, X., McDonald, P., Lui, A.H., Lam, E.K., McManus, B.M., van Breemen, C., Laher, I. Profound inhibition of myogenic tone in rat cardiac allografts is due to eNOS- and iNOS-based nitric oxide and an intrinsic defect in vascular smooth muscle contraction. Circulation. 101(11):1303-10, 2000.

Ruehlmann, D.O., Lee, C.H., Poburko, D., van Breemen, C. Asynchronous Ca(2+) waves in intact venous smooth muscle. Circ. Res. 86(4):E72-9, 2000.

Wang, X., Kim, S.U., van Breemen, C., McLarnon, J.G. Activation of purinergic P2x receptors inhibits P2y mediated Ca2+influx in human microglia. Cell Calcium 27(4):205-212, 2000.

Granville, D.J., Cassidy, B.A., Ruehlmann, D., Choy, J., Brenner, C., Kroemer, G., Margaron, P., van Breemen, C., Hunt, D.W. and McManus, B.M. Mitochondrial Release of Apoptosis Inducing Factor (AIF) and Cytochrome c During Smooth Muscle Cell Apoptosis. Am J Path 159:305-311, 2001.


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