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Professor Iain Greenwood

Professor of Vascular Pharmacology
Co-director of BSc Clinical Pharmacology. Head of Vascular Biology Research Section

Professor Greenwood is Professor of Vascular Pharmacology at St George's and the co-director for the BSc in Clinical Pharmacology.

He has a multi-faceted role at St George's incorporating the construction and delivery of education across St George's with the management of an Internationally recognised research group focused on smooth muscle regulation

He is actively engaged in public engagement activities for the British Heart Foundation including the creation of a local fundraiser group as well as promoting research dissemination through the support of National Societies and development of research conferences.

Professor Iain Greenwood joined St George's, University of London in 1993 as a postdoctoral researcher. He has held a variety of academic positions here since then and became Professor of Vascular Pharmacology in August 2013.

He is an adjunct Professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences (Heart and Circulatory Research Section) at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. This appointment stems from a five-year collaboration with Professor Søren P Olesen looking at mechanisms involved with vascular disease.

Prof Greenwood obtained a First class Honours Degree in Physiology and Pharmacology at the University of Hertfordshire in 1990. He then studied for a PhD at the University of Manchester in the Smooth Muscle Research Group, under the supervision of Professor AH Weston.   In 1998, he was awarded a prestigious four-year Wellcome Trust Career Development Fellowship. This enabled him to spend four months working with Professor Normand Leblanc at the  Montreal Heart Institute, and one year working with Professor Burt Horowitz in the Department of Physiology and Cell Biology at the University of Nevada Medical School, Reno, USA.

He is an active member of the British Pharmacological Society and was elected Vice President for External Affairs in January 2014. He was elected as a Fellow of the Society in 2011. He is presently a member on the Meetings Committee.

He was awarded the Zaimis Prize for long term commitment to the teaching of Pharmacology in December 2017.

He is also a member of the  Physiological Society and the Scandinavian Physiological Society.

He was editor for the British Journal of Pharmacology from 2006 to 2013.

He was the lead Organiser for the 12th International Symposium on resistance Arteries in Manchester, UK, September 3-6th 2017.

He was the co-organiser for the 1st International conference on Kv7 channels in Naples, 12-14th September 2019.

He became a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in April 2022

He was given a prestigious Honorary Fellowship by the British Pharmacological Society in December 2023.

Professor Greenwood's research 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.

His research aims to define the role of specific ion channels (listed below) in smooth muscle activity under normal physiological circumstances or in disease conditions. His research has 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).

He is a regular speaker at University Departments, Pharmaceutical Companies and International Symposia.

Primary research areas

•  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.

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

•  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.

Reviews since 2020:

  1. Baldwin SN, Jepps TA, Greenwood IA (2023). Cycling matters: Sex hormone regulation of vascular potassium channels. Channels (Austin). 17(1):2217637
  2. Hawn, MB, Akin E,, Hartzell HC , Greenwood IA , and Leblanc N (2021). Molecular Mechanisms of Activation and Regulation of ANO1-Encoded Ca2+-Activated Cl- Channels. Channels., 15(1):569-603
  3. Van der Horst J. Greenwood IA & Jepps TA (2020). Cyclic AMP-dependent regulation of Kv7 voltage-gated potassium channels. Frontiers in Physiology,

Primary Papers since 2020:

  1. Calcium-sensing receptor induces relaxations of rat mesenteric arteries by endothelium-dependent and -independent pathways via BKCa and KATP channels.
    Carlton-Carew SRE, Greenberg HZE, Connor EJ, Zadeh P, Greenwood IA, Albert AP (2024). Physiological Reports. xxxxxx
  2. Akin EJ, Aoun J, Jimenez C, Mayne K, Baeck J, Young MD, Sullivan B, Sanders KM, Ward SM, Bulley S, Jaggar JH, Earley S, Greenwood IA, Leblanc N. ANO1, CaV1.2, and IP3R form a localized unit of EC-coupling in mouse pulmonary arterial smooth muscle. J Gen Physiol. 2023 Nov 6;155(11):e202213217. doi: 10.1085/jgp.202213217. PMID: 37702787; PMCID: PMC10499037
  3. Villegas-Esguevillas M, Cho S, Vera-Zambrano A, Kwon JW, Barreira B, Telli G, Navarro-Dorado J, Morales-Cano D, de Olaiz B, Moreno L, Greenwood IA, Pérez-Vizcaíno F, Kim SJ, Climent B, Cogolludo A (2023). The novel KV7 channel activator URO-K10 exerts enhanced pulmonary vascular effects independent of the KCNE4 regulatory subunit. Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy.
  1. Barrese V, Wehbe Z, Linden A, McDowell S, Forrester EA, Povsteyan O, McCloskey K, Greenwood IA (2023). Key role for Kv11.1 (ether-a-go-go related gene) channels in rat bladder contractility. Physiological Reports. 11(3): doi: 10.14814/phy2.15583
  2. Baldwin SN, Forrester EA, Homer NZM, Andrew R, Barrese V, Stott JB, Isakson BE, Albert AP, Greenwood IA (2023). Marked oestrous cycle-dependent regulation of rat arterial KV4 channels driven by GPER1. Br J Pharmacol. 2023 Jan;180(2):174-193. doi: 10.1111/bph.15947
  3. Baldwin SN, Forrester EA, McEwan L, Greenwood IA (2022). Sexual dimorphism in prostacyclin-mimetic responses within rat mesenteric arteries: A novel role for Kv7.1 in shaping IP-receptor mediated relaxation. British Journal of Pharmacology, 179:1338–1352
  4. Cil O, Chen X, Askew Page HR, Baldwin SN, Jordan MC, Myat Thwe P, Anderson MO, Haggie PM, Greenwood IA, Roos KP, Verkman AS. A small molecule inhibitor of the chloride channel TMEM16A blocks vascular smooth muscle contraction and lowers blood pressure in spontaneously hypertensive rats. Kidney Int. 2021 Aug;100(2):311-320. doi: 10.1016/j.kint.2021.03.025. Epub 2021 Apr 6. PMID:33836171; PMCID: PMC8319106.
  5. van der Horst J, Rognant S, Abbott GW, Ozhathil LC, Hägglund P, Barrese V, Chuang CY, Jespersen T, Davies MJ, Greenwood IA, Gourdon P, Aalkjær C, Jepps TA. Dynein regulates Kv7.4 channel trafficking from the cell membrane. J Gen Physiol. 2021 Mar 1;153(3):e202012760. doi: 10.1085/jgp.202012760. PMID:33533890
  6. Baldwin SN, Sandow SL, Mondéjar-Parreño G, Stott JB & Greenwood IA (2020). Kv7 channel expression and function within rat mesenteric endothelial cells. Frontiers in Physiology, section Membrane Physiology and Membrane Biophysics.11: 598779. PMID:33364977
  7. Barrese V, Stott JB, Baldwin SN, Mondejar-Parreño G, Greenwood IA (2020). SMIT (Sodium-Myo-Inositol Transporter) 1 Regulates Arterial Contractility Through the Modulation of Vascular Kv7 Channels. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 40(10):2468-2480. PMID:32787517.
  8. Mondejar-Parreño G, Barreira B, Callejo M, Barrese V, Esquivel-Ruiz S, Olivencia MA, Macías M, Moreno L, Greenwood IA, Perez-Vizcaino F, Cogolludo A (2020). Enhanced contribution of Kv7 channels to vascular tone in pulmonary arterial hypertension. Hypertension. 76(4):1134-1146. PMID: 32829658.
  9. Jahan KS, Shi J, Greenberg HZE, Khavandi S, Baudel MM, Barrese V, Greenwood IA, Albert AP (2020). MARCKS mediates vascular contractility through regulating interactions between voltage-gated Ca2+ channels and PIP2. Vascular Pharmacology. 2020 Jul 21:106776. 132:106776. PMID: 32707323.
  10. Greenwood IA, Stott JB (2020). The Gβ1 and Gβ3 Subunits Differentially Regulate Rat Vascular Kv7 Channels. Frontiers in Physiology, section Membrane Physiology and Membrane Biophysics 10:1573.

Recent Funding.

October 2023-2027 Characterisation of NALCN complexes in the cardiovascular system. SGUL internal studentship. £99,624.

October 2023-2027 Role of oestrogenic modulation of Kv7 channels in cerebral artery reactivity”. British Heart Foundation PhD studentship (FS/PhD/22/29348)  £145,404.

October 2021-2024 Characterisation of the functional effectiveness of novel Kv7 channel activators in different smooth muscles. Industry funded. £181,734. 3 years.

October 2021-2024 Investigating the contribution of sodium / inositol transporter-Kv7 channel complexes in arterial function. British Heart Foundation PhD studentship (FS/PhD/21/29125). £ 133,550.00. 3 years.

October 2019-2023 Sexual dimorphism in vascular regulation by Kv7 channels. British Heart Foundation PhD studentship (FS/18/41/33762). £119, 453. 3 years.

Role of Ano1 encoded Cl channels in coronary circulation. PhD Studentship funded by SGUL and Danish Arrhythmia Research Centre, Copenhagen.

Regulation of cardiovascular Kv7 channels by βγ G protein subunits
British Heart Foundation (PG/15/97/31862)
April 2016 -April 2019 £195, 661

Defining the role of phosphatidyl 4, 5 bisphosphate on arterial calcium-activated chloride channels
British Heart Foundation (PG/14/57/30992)

Interplay of Kv7 channels and calcium-gated chloride channels in coronary artery regulation
Novo Nordsk Foundation (Grant number 6553)
Sept 2013-Sept 2015. DKK 1,000,000.

Role of defective Kv7.4 channels in vascular disease
Medical Research Council (MR/K019074/1)
March 2013 to January 2017, £584,050.

Physiological impact of Kv7 channels in cAMP-mediated arterial dilatation
British Heart Foundation (PG/12/63/29824).
October 2012 to September 2015, £185,878.

Regulation of Kv7 channels in vascular smooth muscle
BBSRC (Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council) four-year CASE (formerly known as Collaborative Awards in Science and Engineering) PhD studentship with NeuroSearch A/S, Denmark
September 2009 to September 2013, £82,410

Professor Greenwood has been collaborating with Professor Normand Leblanc of the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Nevada, Reno, USA, since he worked with him during his Wellcome Trust Career Development Fellowship.

His other international collaborators include:

  • Prof Nathan Dascal, Sackler Institute, Tel Aviv University (structural aspects of Gβᵞ binding to KCNQ channels)
  • Professor William Cole, Professor in cardiovascular research, physiology and pharmacology, University of Calgary, Canada (regulation of cerebral artery contraction)
  • Professor Søren P Olesen, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Heart and Circulatory Research Section Copenhagen, Denmark (vascular effects of Kv7 channels).
  • Professor Maurizio Taglialetela, University of Naples (Kv7 channel regulation)
  • Professor Angel Cogolludo, University of Madrid, Ion channels in the Pulmonary circulation.
  • Prof Geoff Abbott, University of California Irvine, solute transporter-ion channel interactions.
  • In London, he has collaborated with Prof Rachel Tribe at King's College London (K+ channel activity in the uterus).

Professor Greenwood is the Co-director and creator of the UKs first undergraduate Clinical Pharmacology degree at St George’s – first intake September 2019.

He was the St George's director for the Pharmacy MPharm (Hons) degree run jointly by Kingston University and St George’s from January 2010 to January 2019. He teaches cardiovascular pharmacology to pharmacy students.

He also teaches basic and advanced pharmacology to medical students and students on the BSc Biomedical Science course. He is currently the Lead for the Fundamentals in Pharmacology and Physiology Module of the new Biomedical Sciences Course curriculum.

He supervises Masters and MRes students.

He was Chief Examiner for the Biomedical Sciences Degree (2005-2015).

He became a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in April 2022

Awarded an Honorary Fellowship by the British Pharmacological Society in December 2023.

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