Robert T. Dirksen, Ph.D.

Robert T. Dirksen, Ph.D.

Contact Information

University of Rochester Medical Center
School of Medicine and Dentistry
601 Elmwood Ave, Box 711
Rochester, NY 14642

Office: (585) 275-4824
Lab: (585) 273-2170
Fax: (585) 273-2652

Research Bio

Dr. Dirksen directs a multi-disciplinary research program focused on elucidating disease mechanisms and advancing treatment for muscular dystrophy and heart disease. The laboratory investigates the pathophysiological mechanisms by which defects in the proper control of intracellular calcium signaling lead to muscle dysfunction and disease. Current projects involve elucidating the cellular mechanisms by which muscle function is controlled by proteins involved in coordinating: 1) excitation-contraction coupling, 2) store-operated calcium entry, and 3) mitochondrial calcium uptake and energy production, as well as 4) the molecular mechanisms for skeletal and cardiac muscle dysfunction in myotonic dystrophy.

Awards & Honors (Local)

Chair | Muscle: Excitation-Contraction Coupling Gordon Conference 2015
Vice-Chair | Muscle: Excitation-Contraction Coupling Gordon Conference 2012
Graduate Student Society Faculty Mentoring Award 2002

Recent Journal Articles

Showing the 5 most recent journal articles. 162 available »

2017 Jan 10
Linsley JW, Hsu IU, Groom L, Yarotskyy V, Lavorato M, Horstick EJ, Linsley D, Wang W, Franzini-Armstrong C, Dirksen RT, Kuwada JY. "Congenital myopathy results from misregulation of a muscle Ca2+ channel by mutant Stac3." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2017 Jan 10; 114(2):E228-E236. Epub 2016 Dec 21.
2017 Jan
Skov M, Dirksen RT. "Trojan triplets: RNA-based pathomechanisms for muscle dysfunction in Huntington's disease." The Journal of general physiology. 2017 Jan; 149(1):49-53. Epub 2016 Dec 09.
2016 Dec
Carrell EM, Coppola AR, McBride HJ, Dirksen RT. "Orai1 enhances muscle endurance by promoting fatigue-resistant type I fiber content but not through acute store-operated Ca2+ entry." FASEB journal : official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. 2016 Dec; 30(12):4109-4119. Epub 2016 Sep 01.
2016 Oct 18
Auerbach DS, McNitt S, Gross RA, Zareba W, Dirksen RT, Moss AJ. "Genetic biomarkers for the risk of seizures in long QT syndrome." Neurology. 2016 Oct 18; 87(16):1660-1668. Epub 2016 Jul 27.
2016 Oct 1
Carrell ST, Carrell EM, Auerbach D, Pandey SK, Bennett CF, Dirksen RT, Thornton CA. "Dmpk gene deletion or antisense knockdown does not compromise cardiac or skeletal muscle function in mice." Human molecular genetics. 2016 Oct 1; 25(19):4328-4338. Epub 2016 Aug 13.

Current Appointments

Chair - Department of Pharmacology and Physiology (SMD) - Primary Administrative
Lewis Pratt Ross Professorship of Pharmacology and Physiology - Department of Pharmacology and Physiology (SMD)
Professor - Department of Pharmacology and Physiology (SMD) - Primary


PhD | Pharmacology | University of Rochester1991
MS | Pharmacology | University of Rochester1988
BS | Biology | University of Notre Dame1985

Post-Doctoral Training & Residency

Postdoctoral Fellow, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO (Mentor: Kurt G. Beam, Ph. D.) 1996