Jose F. Ek Vitorin, PhD

Assistant Research Professor, Physiology
Research Interests

My research is focused on the study of Connexins (Cx), integral proteins that form transmembrane channels between cells and with the exterior. Connexin are critical in intercellular signaling and coordination of cell function, like in the transmission of electrical action potentials in the heart. After exploring the regulation of connexin channels by voltage, acidification and phosphorylation, my data produced two distinct models of connexin channel function. Currently, I am exploring the functional links between connexin channels and ionic channels involved in sensing mechanical stimulus, and also continue investigating other modes of channel regulation, i.e., nitrosylation, which may be part of the cardiovascular response to stress.


  • 1986 MD Medicine - Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán
  • 1992 MS Physiology - Centro de Investigación y Estudios Avanzados
  • 1997 PhD Physiology - Centro de Investigación y Estudios Avanzados
Publication Highlights

Ek-Vitorin, Jose F, Timothy J King, Nathanael S Heyman, Paul D Lampe, and Janis M Burt. "Selectivity ofConnexin 43 Channels Is Regulated Through Protein Kinase C–Dependent Phosphorylation." CirculationResearch 98.12 (2006): 1498-505. Web

Ek Vitorín, José F., Tasha K. Pontifex, and Janis M. Burt. "Determinants of Cx43 Channel Gating andPermeation: The Amino Terminus." Biophysical Journal 110.1 (2016): 127-40. Web.

k-Vitorín, José F., Tasha K. Pontifex, and Janis M. Burt. "Cx43 Channel Gating and Permeation: MultiplePhosphorylation-dependent Roles of the Carboxyl Terminus." International Journal of MolecularSciences 19.6 (2018): 1659. Web