Dr. Damon Poburko

Associate Professor
Postdoc, Stanford University 2008 - 2011 Postdoc,
University of Geneva 2006 - 2008
 Ph.D. (Pharmacology & Therapeutics),
University of British Columbia - 2005
 B.Sc. (Pharmacology & Therapeutics),
University of British Columbia - 2001

 (778) 782-9464
Fax: (778) 782-3040
Office: L8004

Member: Molecular Cardiac Physiology Group
Available Positions: see below

Research Interests:

Vascular Smooth Muscle Structure-Function Relationships & Physiology, Mitochondrial Physiology, Synaptic Physiology

Research Overview:

As a member of the Molecular Cardiac Physiology Group, my lab focuses on the mechanisms that regulate Ca2+ signaling and contraction of vascular smooth muscle. My interests fall into two themes: 1) the cell biology and regulation of neurotransmitter co-release from sympathetic nerves in the walls of blood vessels, and 2) the mechanisms by which mitochondria regulate smooth muscle Ca2+ signaling and contribute to vascular aging and disease. The goal of our experiments is to further our understanding of neurovascular and smooth muscle physiology and to identify how perturbation of physiological processes leads to vascular disease.

Experimentally, we employ a variety of techniques involving wire myograph contraction studies and fluorescence microscopy of cells and tissues. My lab combines traditional immunofluorescence with cutting edge molecular probes and novel analytical approaches.

Relevant Publications:

  • Vascular Smooth Muscle

    • Poburko D, Liao CH, van Breemen C, Demaurex N. (2009) Mitochondrial regulation of sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ content in vascular smooth muscle cells. Circ Res. 104(1); 104-12.
    • Poburko D, Liao CH, Lemos VS, Lin E, Maruyama Y, Cole WC, van Breemen C. (2007) Transient receptor potential channel 6-mediated, localized cytosolic [Na+] transients drive Na+-Ca2+ exchanger-mediated Ca2+ entry in purinergically stimulated aorta smooth muscle cells. Circ Res. 101(10); 1030-8.
    • Poburko D, Potter K, van Breemen E, Fameli N, Liao CH, Basset O, Rüegg UT, van Breemen C. (2006) Mitochondria buffer NCX-mediated Ca2+-entry and limit its diffusion into vascular smooth muscle cells. Cell Calcium. 40(4); 359-71.
    • Poburko D, Kuo K-H, Dai J, Lee C-H, van Breemen C. (2004) Organellar junctions promote targeted Ca2+ signaling in smooth muscle: Why two membranes are better than one. Trends Pharmacol Sci. 25(1); 8-15.
  • Mitochondria

    • Poburko D, Santo-Domingo J, Demaurex N. (2011) Dynamic regulation of the mitochondrial proton gradient during cytosolic calcium elevations. J Biol Chem. 286(13), 11672-84.
    • Azarias G, Perreten H, Lengacher S, Poburko D, Demaurex N, Magistretti PJ, Chatton JY. (2011) Glutamate transport decreases mitochondrial pH and modulates oxidative metabolism in astrocytes. J Neurosci. 31(10), 3550-9.
    • Demaurex N, Poburko D. (2009) Cell Biology. A revolving door for calcium. Science. 326(5949), 57-8.
    • Demaurex N, Poburko D, Frieden M. (2009) Regulation of plasma membrane calcium fluxes by mitochondria. Biochim Biophys Acta. 1787(11); 1383-94.
  • Synaptic Physiology

    • Lindskog M, Li L, Groth RD, Poburko D, Thiagarajan TC, Han X, Tsien RW. (2010) Postsynaptic GluA1 enables acute retrograde enhancement of presynaptic function to coordinate adaptation to synaptic inactivity. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 107(50), 21806-11.

For a complete publication list see PubMed


KIN305 - Human Physiology I(Summer 2012)

Available Positions:

I am currently recruiting motivated trainees to pursue exciting paths in graduate studies, undergraduate research or undergraduate co-op terms. If you are interested please send me an email at or call my office at (778) 782-9464.

Financial support for graduate students will likely be available through Research- and Teaching-Assistantships. Potential graduate students will be strongly encouraged to apply for university (Graduate Fellowships) and external funding programs (MSFHRNSERCCIHRHSFC). Qualified undergraduate students will also be encouraged to apply for the Vice President of Research Undergraduate Student Research Award.