Nancy J. Rusch, Ph.D.

Nancy J. Rusch, Ph.D.Professor 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

Completed 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”

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”


Mu S, Fantegrossi WE, Rusch NJ. Cocaine-Responsive miRNA and Blood Pressure Elevation.
Hypertension. 71(4):561-562, 2018. PMID: 29483229

Rhee SW, Rusch NJ. Molecular determinants of beta-adrenergic signaling to voltage-gated K+ channels in the cerebral circulation. Microcirculation. 25(1), 2018. PMID: 29072364

Sarimollaoglu M, Stolarz AJ, Nedosekin DA, Garner BR, Fletcher TW, Galanzha EI, Rusch NJ, Zharov VP. High-speed microscopy for in vivo monitoring of lymph dynamics. J Biophotonics. 2017. doi: 10.1002/jbio.201700126. PMID: 29232054

Hill BJF, Dalton RJ, Joseph BK, Thakali KM, Rusch NJ. 17β-estradiol reduces Cav 1.2 channel abundance and attenuates Ca2+ -dependent contractions in coronary arteries. Pharmacol Res Perspect. 5(5), 2017. PMID: 28971605

Hilgers RH, Kundumani-Sridharan V, Subramani J, Chen LC, Cuello LG, Rusch NJ, Das KC. Thioredoxin reverses age-related hypertension by chronically improving vascular redox and restoring eNOS function. Sci Transl Med. 9(376), 2017. PMID: 28179506

Detweiler ND, Song L, McClenahan SJ, Versluis RJ, Kharade SV, Kurten RC, Rhee SW, Rusch NJ. BK channels in rat and human pulmonary smooth muscle cells are BKα-β1 functional complexes lacking the oxygen-sensitive stress axis regulated exon insert. Pulm Circ. 6(4), 2016. PMID: 28090300

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.

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

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

View Dr. Rusch’s Publication List