Cardiovascular disease is the major cause of death in the developed world. David Eisner’s research group is trying to understand the mechanisms that regulate the contraction of the heart under both normal and diseased conditions. The heart is composed of billions of cells (myocytes) and, in order for it to pump blood these cells must contract synchronously. Contraction is initiated by an increase of the amount of calcium in the cell. Most of this calcium is released from an intracellular store. This group has defined the mechanisms that control the amount of calcium in the store and thence the amount that can be released to activate contraction. Current work is focused on changes in the store content of calcium in disease conditions.