© CNRS Images media - 2000
Michel Lazdunski, the head of CNRS' Institut de pharmacologie moléculaire et cellulaire at Sophia-Antipolis, and winner of the CNRS Gold Medal in 2000, describes the current state of his research on ion channels, which are the microgenerators of the electric signals present in all cells. The study of the behavior of specific toxins extracted from animal venom (spiders, sea-anemones, etc.) leads to the identification of ion channels whose dysfunction leads to pathologies such as cardiac arrhythmia, epilepsy, hypertension, and diabetes. These ion channels, once identified, can become the focus of new pharmaceutical treatments.