Rusch Laboratory

Research Team

SPaT RuschNancy J. Rusch, Ph.D. (Principal Investigator)

The goal of my laboratory is to discover abnormalities of ion channel expression and composition that contribute to systemic and pulmonary hypertension, and identify channel-based therapies to treat these diseases. We employ a multi-faceted approach of patch-clamp, molecular, cellular and in vivo techniques to accomplish this goal.


Terry - Staff Execellence Award croppedTerry Fletcher (Senior Research Associate)

Terry Fletcher has been with the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology for the last six years, providing technical support for laboratories and maintaining Core equipment.   Fletcher was honored with a Research Staff Excellence Award at the 2013 Dean’s Honor Day for his contribution to research programs in eight laboratories at UAMS over the past 25 years.



Yunmeng LiuYungmeng Liu, Ph.D. (Postdoctoral Fellow)

Dr. Liu recently joined the Rusch lab after earning her Ph.D. from New York Medical College.   The primary focus of her research is to elucidate the mechanism of Angiotensin II induced calcium channel expression.



anup-srivastava-studentAnup Srivastava (Pharmacology Graduate Student)

Anup Srivastava is a Ph.D. pharmacology graduate student in the laboratory of Dr. Nancy Rusch.    His thesis research is supported by a Predoctoral Award from the American Heart Association-Southwest Affiliate.  Anup is exploring the cellular mechanisms by which arterial calcium channels upregulate during hypertension, which contributes to the abnormal vascular contraction in this disease.  His research utilizes a variety of techniques including patch-clamp electrophysiology, biochemical analysis of ion channel subunits, and in vivo monitoring of hemodynamics.

StolarzAmanda Stolarz, Pharm.D. (Pharm.D./Ph.D. Graduate Student)

Amanda Stolarz, Pharm.D. is a graduate student in the laboratory of Dr. Nancy Rusch.   She is the inaugural student in a Pharm.D./Ph.D. graduate program at UAMS.  Amanda’s research seeks to define the mechanisms by which the chemotherapeutic drug, doxorubicin, contributes to lymphedema.  Her techniques include monitoring the contractile behavior of isolated rat mesenteric lymph vessels in vitro, and measurement of lymph flow in mesenteric loops in vivo, as well as characterization of ion channels in isolated lymphatic smooth muscle cells by patch-clamp methods. Initial studies in human lymphatic vessels may provide a strategy for designing drugs to ameliorate lymphedema.

Lieblong in Lab CroppedBen Lieblong (Pharmacology Graduate Student)

Ben is a pharmacology Ph.D. student researching radiation-induced heart disease (RIHD), a potentially severe side effect of radiotherapy for thoracic cancers such as breast, lung, and esophageal.  During such treatment, the heart can receive a dose of radiation that causes a variety of heart diseases, years after receiving radiotherapy.  His thesis project includes investigating the involvement of the kallikrein-kinin system in RIHD, developing a technique for early detection of RIHD, and characterizing coronary artery endothelial dysfunction in response to radiation.

Rheelab-personnel-HillaryHillary Hanvey, B.S. (Research Technician)
Ms. Hanvey is a recent graduate from University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and previously worked in an Immunology lab. She is currently in charge of functional studies including ex vivo pressurized cerebral artery preparation and in vivo measurement of vasoreactivity through cranial window.