Nancy J. Rusch, Ph.D.

SPaT RuschProfessor and Chair
Phone: (501) 686.5510
Fax: (501) 686-5521


Ph.D. – Mayo Clinic, 1983

Research Interests

Calcium and potassium channels conduct Ca2+ and K+ ions, respectively, across the surface membrane of vascular muscle cells. Abnormalities in these channels trigger contraction of small arteries resulting in high blood pressure (hypertension). The goal of our 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.

Meet Dr. Rusch’s Research Team

Recent Research Support

Current Research
AHA (SW Affiliate) Predoc 6PRE30830010   (Co-Sponsor for Shrum)   (07/01/16 – 06/30/18)
“Role of mitoBK Channels in Rat Renal Cold Preservation”

Completed Research 
UAMS Pilot Grant  (Co-PI)   (06/01/16 – 05/31/17)
“Role of Mitochondrial BK channel in Renal Transplantation”

1R21CA187325-01A1  (PI)   (03/01/15 – 02/28/17)
“Doxorubicin Suppression of Lymphatic Function and Therapeutic Reversal”

PhRMA Fellowship  (Sponsor for Stolarz)   (01/01/16 – 12/31/16)
“Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America”

R01 HL097107   (Co-I)   (03/15/11 – 02/28/16)
“PSD95 Scaffolding of Vascular K+ Channels in Hypertension”

UL1 RR025209 (Member of Internal Advisory Committee)  (07/01/09 – 03/31/16)
“Arkansas Center for Clinical and Translational Research”

R01 HL0932526-05 (PI) (04/01/09 – 03/31/15)
“Long-term Antihypertensive Therapy by Delivery of the BK Channel Gene to VSMCs”

UAMS Pilot Grant, UAMS  (PI) (01/01/14 – 12/31/14)
“Doxorubicin and Suppression of Lymphatic Function”

GIA 13GRNT14590001 (PI) (01/01/13 – 12/31/14)
“Vascular TRPC3 Channels as Antihypertensive Targets”

AHA (SW Affiliate) Predoc 12PRE17240055 (Sponsor for Detweiler) (07/01/13 – 06/30/15)
“Targeting the BK Channel as Therapy for Pulmonary Hypertension”

R01 HL64806-14 (PI) (01/01/09 – 06/30/14)
“Vascular Calcium Channel Expression in Hypertension”


Detweiler ND, Song L, McClenahan SJ, Versluis RJ, Kharade SV, Kurten RC, Rhee SW, Rusch NJ. The BK channel in rat and human pulmonary smooth muscle cells are BKαβ1 functional complexes lacking the oxygen-sensitive STREX insert. Pulmonary Circulation (in press).

Stolarz AJ, Rusch NJ. Gender differences in cardiovascular drugs. Cardiovasc Drugs Ther. 29(4):403-410. doi: 10.1007/s10557-015-6611-8, 2015 (PMID: 26227895).

Srivastava AK, MacMillan-Crow LA, Rhee SW, Rusch NJ. Abnormalities of vascular ion channels during hypertension. In: Vascular Ion Channels in Physiology and Disease, Levitan I and Dopico A (eds), Spring International Publishing AG, New York, NY, 2016.

Stimers JR, Song L, Rusch NJ, Rhee SW. Overexpression of the large-conductance, Ca2+-activated K+ (BK) channel shortens action potential duration in HL-1 cardiomyocytes. PLoS One. 19;10(6):e0130588, 2015 (PMID: 26091273).

Schleifenbaum J, Kassmann M, Szijártó IA, Hercule HC, Tano JY, Weinert S, Heidenreich M, Pathan AR, Anistan YM, Alenina N, Rusch NJ, Bader M, Jentsch TJ, Gollasch M. Stretch-activation of angiotensin II type 1a receptors contributes to the myogenic response of mouse mesenteric and renal arteries. Circulation Research. 115:263-272, 2014 (PMID: 24838176).

Detweiler ND, Srivistava AK, Pathan AR, Kharade SV, Rusch NJ.  Smooth muscle excitability.  In: Cell Physiology Source Book, N Sperelakis (ed), San Diego, CA, Academic Press, 2014.

Moore CL, Nelson PL, Parelkar NK, Rusch NJ, Rhee SW. Protein kinase A-phosphorylated Kv1 channels in PSD95 signaling complex contribute to the resting membrane potential and diameter of cerebral arteries. Circulation Research. 114:1258-1267, 2014 (PMID: 24585759).

Patton AL, Seely KA, Pulla S, Rusch NJ, Moran CL, Fantegrossi WE, Knight LD, Marraffa JM, Kennedy PD, James LP, Endres GW, Moran JH. Quantitative measurement of acetyl fentanyl and acetyl norfentanyl in human urine by LC-MS/MS. Analytical Chemistry. 86(3):1760-1766, 2014 (PMID: 24354295).

Anh NT, Gomez D, Bell RD, Campbell JH, Clowes AW, Gabbiani G, Giachelli CM, Parmacek MS, Raines EW, Rusch NJ, Speer MY, Sturek M, Thyberg J, Towler DA, Weiser-Evans MC, Yan C, Miano JM, Owens GK. Smooth muscle cell plasticity: fact or fiction? Circulation Research. 112:17-22, 2013 (PMID: 23093573).

Kharade SV*, Sonkusare SK*, Srivistava A, Rhee SW, Thakali KM, Fletcher TW, Rusch NJ.  The β3 subunit contributes to vascular calcium channel upregulation and hypertension in angiotensin II –infused C57BL/6 mice. Hypertension. 61:137-142, 2013 (PMID: 23129698).

Nedosekin DA, Juratli MA, Sarimollaoglu M, Moore CL, Rusch NJ, Smeltzer MS, Zharov VP, Galanzha EI. Photoacoustic and photothermal detection of circulating tumor cells, bacteria and nanoparticles in cerebrospinal fluid in vivo and ex vivo. Journal of Biophotonics. 6::523-533, 2013 (PMID: 23681943).

Mercado CP, Quintero MV, Li Y, Singh P, Byrd AK, Talabnin K, Ishihara M, Azadi P, Rusch NJ, Kuberan B, Maroteaux L, Kilic F. A serotonin-induced N-glycan switch regulates platelet aggregation. Science Reports. 3:2795, 2013 (PMID: 24077408).

Abou-Saleh H, Pathan AR, Daalis A, Hubrack S, Abou-Jassoum H, Al-Naeimi H, Rusch NJ, Machaca K. Inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP3) receptor up-regulation in hypertension is associated with sensitization of Ca2+ release and vascular smooth muscle contractility. Journal of Biological Chemistry. 288(46):32941-32951, 2013 (PMID: 24097979).

Singh P, Fletcher TW, Li Y, Rusch NJ, Kilic F. Serotonin uptake rates in platelets from angiotensin II-induced hypertensive mice. Health 1;5(4A):31-39, 2013 (PMID: 24163726).

Hirenallur-S DK, Detweiler ND, Haworth ST, Leming JT, Gordon JB, Rusch NJ. Furegrelate, a thromboxane synthase inhibitor, blunts the development of pulmonary arterial hypertension in neonatal piglets. Pulmonary Circulation. 2:193-200, 2012 (PMID: 22837860).

Thakali KM, Pathan AR, Kharade SV, Rusch NJ.  Potassium, sodium and chloride channel in arterial smooth muscle cells.  In: Muscle, J. Hill and E. Olsen (eds), Elsevier Press, 2012.

Joseph BK, Thakali KM, Pathan AR, Kang E, Rusch NJ, Rhee SW. Postsynaptic density-95 scaffolding of Shaker-type K+ channels in smooth muscle cells regulates the diameter of cerebral arteries. J Physiol (London). 89: 5143–5152, 2011 (PMID: 21911612).

Pathan AR, Rusch NJ. Two-pore domain K+ channels: Evidence for TWIK-2 in blood pressure regulation. Hypertension. 58: 539 – 541, 2011 (PMID: 21876073).

Thakali KM, Kharade S, Sonkusare S, Stimers JR, Rusch NJ.  Intracellular calcium silences L-type Ca2+ channels: Mechanism of venous smooth muscle resistance to calcium channel blockers.  Circulation Research. 106:729-737, 2010 (PMID: 20044515).

View Dr. Rusch’s Publication List