Skip to content

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

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.

Selected recent publications

1: Baldwin SN, Forrester EA, McEwan L, Greenwood IA. Sexual dimorphism in
prostacyclin-mimetic responses within rat mesenteric arteries: A novel role for
K<sub>V</sub> 7.1 in shaping IP receptor-mediated relaxation. Br J Pharmacol.
2022 Apr;179(7):1338-1352. doi: 10.1111/bph.15722. Epub 2022 Jan 21. PMID:

2: 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; PMCID: PMC7863719.

3: Baldwin SN, Sandow SL, Mondéjar-Parreño G, Stott JB, Greenwood IA.
K<sub>V</sub>7 Channel Expression and Function Within Rat Mesenteric Endothelial
Cells. Front Physiol. 2020 Dec 7;11:598779. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2020.598779.
PMID: 33364977; PMCID: PMC7750541.

4: Barrese V, Stott JB, Baldwin SN, Mondejar-Parreño G, Greenwood IA. SMIT
(Sodium-Myo-Inositol Transporter) 1 Regulates Arterial Contractility Through the
Modulation of Vascular Kv7 Channels. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2020
Oct;40(10):2468-2480. doi: 10.1161/ATVBAHA.120.315096. Epub 2020 Aug 13. PMID:
32787517; PMCID: PMC7505149.

5: van der Horst J, Greenwood IA, Jepps TA. Cyclic AMP-Dependent Regulation of
Kv7 Voltage-Gated Potassium Channels. Front Physiol. 2020 Jun 30;11:727. doi:
10.3389/fphys.2020.00727. PMID: 32695022; PMCID: PMC7338754.

6: Greenwood IA, Stott JB. The Gβ1 and Gβ3 Subunits Differentially Regulate Rat
Vascular Kv7 Channels. Front Physiol. 2020 Jan 14;10:1573. doi:
10.3389/fphys.2019.01573. PMID: 31992990; PMCID: PMC6971187.

7: Askew Page HR, Dalsgaard T, Baldwin SN, Jepps TA, Povstyan O, Olesen SP,
Greenwood IA. TMEM16A is implicated in the regulation of coronary flow and is
altered in hypertension. Br J Pharmacol. 2019 Jun;176(11):1635-1648. doi:
10.1111/bph.14598. Epub 2019 Apr 11. PMID: 30710335; PMCID: PMC6514379.

8: Stott JB, Barrese V, Suresh M, Masoodi S, Greenwood IA. Investigating the
Role of G Protein βγ in Kv7-Dependent Relaxations of the Rat Vasculature.
Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2018 Sep;38(9):2091-2102. doi:
10.1161/ATVBAHA.118.311360. PMID: 30002060; PMCID: PMC6173295.

9: Barrese V, Stott JB, Figueiredo HB, Aubdool AA, Hobbs AJ, Jepps TA, McNeish
AJ, Greenwood IA. Angiotensin II Promotes K<sub>V</sub>7.4 Channels Degradation
Through Reduced Interaction With HSP90 (Heat Shock Protein 90). Hypertension.
2018 Jun;71(6):1091-1100. doi: 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.118.11116. Epub 2018 Apr
23. PMID: 29686000; PMCID: PMC6390948.

10: Barrese V, Stott JB, Greenwood IA. KCNQ-Encoded Potassium Channels as
Therapeutic Targets. Annu Rev Pharmacol Toxicol. 2018 Jan 6;58:625-648. doi:
10.1146/annurev-pharmtox-010617-052912. Epub 2017 Oct 6. PMID: 28992433.

11: Povstyan OV, Barrese V, Stott JB, Greenwood IA. Synergistic interplay of Gβγ
and phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate dictates Kv7.4 channel activity.
Pflugers Arch. 2017 Feb;469(2):213-223. doi: 10.1007/s00424-016-1916-4. Epub
2016 Dec 15. PMID: 27981364; PMCID: PMC5222924.

12: Carr G, Barrese V, Stott JB, Povstyan OV, Jepps TA, Figueiredo HB, Zheng D,
Jamshidi Y, Greenwood IA. MicroRNA-153 targeting of KCNQ4 contributes to
vascular dysfunction in hypertension. Cardiovasc Res. 2016 Nov 1;112(2):581-589.
doi: 10.1093/cvr/cvw177. PMID: 27389411; PMCID: PMC5079273.

13: Jepps TA, Olesen SP, Greenwood IA, Dalsgaard T. Molecular and functional
characterization of Kv 7 channels in penile arteries and corpus cavernosum of
healthy and metabolic syndrome rats. Br J Pharmacol. 2016 May;173(9):1478-90.
doi: 10.1111/bph.13444. Epub 2016 Feb 26. PMID: 26802314; PMCID: PMC4831315.

14: Jepps TA, Carr G, Lundegaard PR, Olesen SP, Greenwood IA. Fundamental role
for the KCNE4 ancillary subunit in Kv7.4 regulation of arterial tone. J Physiol.
2015 Dec 15;593(24):5325-40. doi: 10.1113/JP271286. Epub 2015 Dec 7. PMID:
26503181; PMCID: PMC4704525.

15: Stott JB, Povstyan OV, Carr G, Barrese V, Greenwood IA. G-protein βγ
subunits are positive regulators of Kv7.4 and native vascular Kv7 channel
activity. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015 May 19;112(20):6497-502. doi:
10.1073/pnas.1418605112. Epub 2015 May 4. PMID: 25941381; PMCID: PMC4443360.

Recent Funding.

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

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

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

Find a profileSearch by A-Z