Environmental Sciences

Environmental Sciences Experts

Geoffrey Burnstock

Chair, Division of Adult and Geriatric Health
Department of Cardiology
Union University


I am an experimental and diagnostic musculoskeletal pathologist whose research interest for nearly three decades has been a blend of basic and translational investigations.  This work has been extramurally funded by the NIH, DOD, and private philanthropic agencies and foundations. Over the last 15 years I have focused my experimental work principally in cancer gene therapy using human neoplasms as the model system.  Further, I have participated in multiple gene therapy studies utilizing a variety of distinct strategies including mutation compensation, genetic immunopotentiation, and molecular chemotherapy. My most recently funded NIH grant has as its objective the goal of testing the ability of novel armed conditionally replicating adenoviruses to block breast cancer metastasis to bone and to explore the mechanisms underlying this process.  Additionally, I have had many decades long work with animal models of human disease.  I have also served since its inception as the Principal Investigator  of the Histomorphometry and Molecular Analysis Core in the Center for Metabolic Bone Disease.

Research Interest

Although his initial interest in ATP was firmly in the realm of basic science, in recent years Professor Burnstock has worked with medical researchers and industry to help ensure that his discovery can be developed to medical treatment. When he first suggested that ATP was a neurotransmitter, the idea was met with scepticism, largely because ATP is so ubiquitous in body systems that people found it difficult to accept that it had a neurotransmitter function. But now, the very prevalence of ATP as an extracellular signalling molecule is what makes this discovery so exciting for biomedical research, because it affects most body systems.  

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