Unlocking the Secrets of Cell Signaling

Annu Rev Physiol. 2005;67:1-21. doi: 10.1146/annurev.physiol.67.040103.152647.


My scientific life has been spent trying to understand how cells communicate with each other. This interest in cell signaling began with studies on the control of fluid secretion by an insect salivary gland, and the subsequent quest led to the discovery of inositol trisphosphate (IP3) and its role in calcium signaling, which effectively divided my scientific career into two distinct parts. The first part was primarily experimental and culminated in the discovery of IP3, which set the agenda for the second half during which I have enjoyed exploring the many functions of this remarkably versatile signaling system. It has been particularly exciting to find out how this IP3/Ca2+ signaling pathway has been adapted to control processes as diverse as fertilization, proliferation, cell contraction, secretion, and information processing in neuronal cells.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcium / physiology
  • Calcium Signaling / physiology
  • Cell Physiological Phenomena*
  • Humans
  • Inositol Phosphates / metabolism
  • Lithium / pharmacology
  • Second Messenger Systems
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*


  • Inositol Phosphates
  • Lithium
  • Calcium