ApconiX Welcomes Dr Kevin Cunningham

ApconiX Welcomes Dr Kevin Cunningham

ApconiX is delighted to welcome Dr Kevin Cunningham, who joins us until Christmas and will be working in our ion channel laboratory.

Kevin graduated from Kingston University with a degree in Pharmacology before studying for a MSc in Cancer Biology at the University of Kent.  Kevin then went on to carry out research in Pharmacology for a PhD at the University of Kent

His thesis was titled “Functional Properties and Pharmacological Regulation of Two-Pore Domain Potassium Channels Associated with Pulmonary Disorders.” By using electrophysiological and imaging techniques, Kevin focused on the K2P channel, TASK-1, and the role it may play in pulmonary arterial hypertension. Kevin also conducted research on TASK-3 and identified a possible binding site for the therapeutic drug doxapram on this channel with the additional use of computer modelling software. He also investigated the role of TREK-1 and TREK-2 channels, and how they act within patients undergoing specific therapies for pulmonary arterial hypertension.

Kevin then became a postdoctoral research associate in collaboration with Merck Sharp and Dohme, at King’s College, London working with Professor Peter McNaughton. During this time, he was researching the in vivo in vitro correlation of Ih channel modulators, using electrophysiological techniques to identify biophysical properties of Ih channels and compounds in both recombinant systems and native tissues.

A member of British Pharmacological Society and The Physiological Society, Kevin recently completed the associate fellowship of the Higher Education Academy.

Kevin commented, “I have a keen interest in ion channels, having utilised electrophysiology throughout my research career. Working at ApconiX and carrying out ion channel screening for clients is great industry experience”.

“Having Kevin working with us for the next three months is a real bonus.  His is an experienced electrophysiologist.  The laboratory has many exciting projects on at the moment and we get busier and busier”, added Dr Michael Morton, Co-founder and Director.

A keen cricketer, Kevin plays at a competitive level within the Kent cricket league. “Unfortunately, I fell badly and broke my ankle this summer while playing football.  It’s taken a while to heal having been plated and pinned.  I’m desperately looking forward to having my fracture boot removed and ditching the crutches”.