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Donna M Slater


Assistant Professor, Department of Physiology & Pharmacology

Director, ACHRI Research Training Platform

(403) 210-7660

Cumming School of Medicine
HMRB 277, 3330 Hospital Drive NW
Calgary, AB  T2N 4N1


Research Interests:

In obstetrics, abnormal or inappropriate myometrial contractions can cause major clinical problems such as pre-term labour or post-partum hemorrhage. Prostaglandins and their receptors have been widely implicated in the process of parturition, but underlying signaling pathways involved remain poorly understood. Our research focuses on the role and regulation of prostaglandin synthesis and prostaglandin receptor signaling within the uterus (and specifically the myometrial smooth muscle) during pregnancy and parturition.

Specific projects include:

Functional characterization of the responses to prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) and the roles of the individual PGE2 (EP) receptors in different regions of the uterus.Defining the signaling pathway(s) by which PGE2 inhibits both contraction and inflammatory cytokine output in myometrial smooth muscle (MSM): The role of cAMP-dependent kinase protein kinase A (PKA). I am using an adenoviral mediated gene transfer of the highly selective inhibitor of PKA, protein kinase inhibitor a (PKIa) to investigate the role of PKA in MSM cells.Determining the role of the transcription factor NF-kB in the production of, and response to, PGE2 in myometrial smooth muscle.

Several techniques are employed for our studies and include:

Molecular biological and biochemical studies using MSM cells as a model to identify the molecular signaling pathways of the prostaglandins.Simultaneous Ca2+ fluorescence technique and organ bath studies to relate changes in intracellular Ca2+ levels and contractility of myometrial tissue.In situ hybridization and Immuno-histology to identify and localize mRNA and protein expression of specific genes in the prostaglandin pathway.

Research Activities: 

Role and regulation of prostaglandin synthesis and prostaglandin receptor signaling within the uterus during labour and childbirth

  • B.Sc. (Bachelor of Science)
  • Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)
Graduate Program Affiliations: 

Medical Sciences

Administrative Assistant: