Professor Vladimir Veksler is an outstanding researcher in the field of physiology and pathophysiology of cardiovascular and muscle systems. He was born on March 18, 1952 in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, USSR, and graduated from the 2nd Moscow Medical Institute in 1975. Vladimir Veksler received his Ph.D. degree from the National Cardiology Centre in Moscow in 1979 and started his academic career as researcher there. In 1991 he was invited to continue his scientific and teaching activities at University Paris-XI in France, where in 1996 he received the habilitation degree and in 2000 he got a full professor position to head the Chair of Physiology at the Faculty of Pharmacy. Besides, he is the chief of the research team "Energy signalling and cardiovascular pathophysiology".
The main scientific interests of Vladimir Veksler were focused on the study of energy metabolism in different tissues – muscles (cardiac, skeletal, smooth) and in neurons. In the 1980s he developed an original technique for studying mitochondrial function in permeabilised fibres without isolation in cellular natural environment. The technique makes it possible to estimate the total oxidative capacities of a given tissue on very small tissue fragments. In 1987, this method was granted a patent registered by the USSR National Office of Industrial Property; it is now used in many laboratories around the world for both research and clinical purposes. Recently, the revised and completed protocol of this technique was published in the "Nature Protocols".
Vladimir Veksler is a recognised scientist in the field of intracellular energy transport in muscle cells. His works demonstrated the important role of creatine kinase in myocardium. In collaboration with his colleagues, Vladimir Veksler was the first to discover the direct energy channeling between the mitochondria and cellular ATPases and to demonstrate alterations of this mechanism in various pathologies, including heart failure. Besides, he contributed a lot to the understanding of mechanisms of decreased myocardial contractility as well as skeletal muscle weakness in heart failure.
During the last years, a series of very fruitful works carried out by Vladimir Veksler in collaboration with Estonian scientists from the University of Tartu have demonstrated the regulation of mitochondrial biogenesis, dynamics and elimination in normal and pathological excitable cells like cardiomyocytes and neurons. This knowledge allowed to better understand the mechanisms of several diseases and to identify new therapeutic targets.
Vladimir Veksler is the author of more than 120 articles published in highly rated peer-reviewed scientific journals, as well as more than 280 presentations delivered at different conferences and congresses. His publications have a high citation rating (Hirsh index of 39). He has been involved in many international projects with Estonian, Great Britain, Austrian, Dutch, American scientists. Vladimir Veksler was one of the organisers of the French national scientific network "Meetochondries", which unifies many French as well as foreign scientists working in the field of bioenergetics. He has participated in organising a number of conferences, workshops and schools aiming at the exchange of knowledge on energy metabolism in various cell and tissues. As invited speaker or lecturer, he has participated in more than 40 conferences in many countries.
Vladimir Veksler has carried out an important pedagogic activity. Besides the supervision of the Chair of Physiology in the University Paris-XI, he has supervised or participated in the supervision of more than 10 doctoral thesis and more than 40 post-university traineeships and postdocs. He has contributed a lot to science popularisation; for example, he participated with his Estonian colleagues in creating the documentary "Profession: Researcher" (Ex nihilo, ARTE France).
In recognition of the high-level scientific work of Professor Veksler and his long-term productive collaboration with researchers of the University of Tartu, the university is pleased to confer upon Vladimir Veksler the degree of Honorary Doctor of Pharmacology of the University of Tartu.