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Laboratory of Thomas R. Shannon, DVM, PhD

The research of Thomas R. Shannon explores the local control of excitation-contraction coupling in excitable cells. These control mechanisms are fundamental to many cellular phenomena and are, thus, often sites of pathological failure and potential targets for therapeutic intervention.

Our work

Ca signals are generated within virtually all cells and are known to modulate a myriad of physiological functions. Dr. Shannon’s lab at Rush is internationally recognized for its experimental expertise in this area.

Our lab primarily details clinically significant attributes of these signals in health and disease, particularly in cardiac cells and other muscle cells. These processes include changes associated with the function of the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) where Ca is stored. Ca released from the SR initiates a wide variety of cellular responses and, most importantly, is strongly associated with regulating the strength of muscle cell contraction.

Study of Ca storage and release control by post-translational modification of closely associated regulatory proteins provides a strong mechanistic foundation for our group’s ongoing work toward developing new SR-targeted drugs that will hopefully be applied to limit and treat diseases, especially heart disease.


Select works

Shannon, T.R., Bers, D.M. (1997.) “Assessment of Intra-SR Free [Ca] and Buffering in Rat Heart.” Biophys.J. 73:1524-1531. PMID: 9284319

Shannon, T.R., Guo, T., Bers, D.M. (2003.) “Ca2+ Scraps: Local Depletions of Free [Ca2+] in Cardiac Sarcoplasmic Reticulum during Contractions Leave Substantial Ca2+ Reserve.” Circ. Res. 93:40-5. PMID: 12791706

Ai, X., Curran, J.W., Shannon, T.R., Bers, D.M., Pogwizd, S.M. (2005.) “Ca2+/Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinase Modulates Cardiac Ryanodine Receptor Phosphorylation and Sarcoplasmic Reticulum Ca2+ Leak in Heart Failure.” Circ. Res. 97:1314-1322. PMID: 16269653

Guo, T., Ai, X., Shannon, T.R., Pogwizd, S.M., Bers, D.M. (2007.) “Intra-Sarcoplasmic Reticulum Free [Ca2+] and Buffering in Arrhythmogenic Failing Rabbit Heart.” Circ. Res. 101:820-810. PMID: 17704210

Picht, E., Zima, A.V., Shannon, T.R., Duncan, A.M., Blatter, L.A., Bers, D.M. (2011) “Dynamic Calcium Movement Inside Cardiac Sarcoplasmic Reticulum During Release.Circ Res. 108:847-856. PMCID: PMC3084972

Santiago, D.J., Ríos, E., Shannon, T.R. (2013.) “Isoproterenol Increases the Fraction of Spark-Dependent RyR-Mediated Leak in Ventricular Myocytes. Biophys. J. 104:976-985. PMCID: PMC3591256

Curran, J., Tang, L., Roof, S.R., Velmurugan, S., Millard, A., Shonts, S., Wang, H., Santiago, D., Ahmad, U., Perryman, M., Bers, D.M., Mohler, P.J., Ziolo, M.T., Shannon, T.R. (2014.) “Nitric Oxide-Dependent Activation of CaMKII Increases Diastolic Sarcoplasmic Reticulum Calcium Release in Cardiac Myocytes in Response to Adrenergic Stimulation.” PLoS One 9(2):e87495. Open Access Journal. PMID:4498331

Additional research

A more complete listing of Dr. Shannon’s published work can be found on PubMed.


Thomas R. Shannon, PhD
Associate Professor

Rush University
Department of Physiology & Biophysics
Jelke Building
1750 W. Harrison St., Room 1273
Chicago, IL 60612

Phone: (312) 942-6754