Dr. Clara Franzini-Armstrong is a world-renowned electron microscopist. She is nationally and internationally recognized for her superb ultra-structural studies of the triad junction of both cardiac and skeletal muscle. Her contributions have greatly enhanced our knowledge of the structural basis for excitation-contraction coupling. Dr. Franzini Armstrong's work has revealed that ion channel proteins in the T-tubule (the dihydropyridine receptor) and sarcoplasmic reticulum (ryanodine receptor) are intimately and precisely associated. The interactions between these two proteins provide the basis for control of calcium release from intracellular stores, which regulates muscle contraction.
Dr. Franzini-Armstrong received her PhD degree in 1960 from the University of Pisa, Italy.
She went to work as a Research Assistant at University College, London, under direction of
Nobel laureate, Andrew F. Huxley. She joined the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania
as an Associate Professor in Anatomy in 1975 and was promoted to Professor in Cellular and
Developmental Biology in 1981. Dr. Franzini-Armstrong was inducted into the National
Academy of Sciences in 1995. She and her husband, Dr. Clay Armstrong, are the only husband
and wife members of the National Academy of Science.
Dr. Franzini-Armstrong delivered two public lectures at the College of Veterinary Medicine as part of the Clarenburg Lecture Series. The first, entitled "Molecular architecture of calcium release units", was given on Thursday, November 5th, 1998 at 4 PM in Room 235 of the Veterinary Medical Science Building and the second, entitled "Design principles of skeletal and cardiac muscle", was held at 4 PM Friday, November 6th, 1998 in the Practice Management Center, 4th Floor, Trotter Hall.
To see an abbreviated version of Dr. Franzini-Armstrong's curriculum vitae, click here.
Thursday Nov. 5th Seminar Title: "Molecular architecture of calcium release
Friday Nov. 6th Seminar Title: "Design principles of skeletal and cardiac muscle"
Former Clarenburg lecturers
Dr. Larry Sinoway
Dr. Kim Johnson
Dr. Gordon Mitchell