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Research interests

My research focuses on investigating the mechanisms that underlie heart failure and vascular disease particularly in the context of hypertension and diabetes. To this end, we have developed a number of novel tools to assess cardiovascular signaling pathways.

These include:

  • FRET-based biosensors to measure kinase activity and localization in living cells
  • Custom antibodies to measure biochemical modifications of proteins
  • A variety of animal models with enhanced or reduced susceptibility to cardiovascular pathology.

With this research, we hope to contribute new understanding to the molecular basis of cardiovascular signaling that will culminate in potential clinical therapies for heart disease and atherosclerosis.

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Projects

  • Identifying the mechanism by which CaMKII regulates cellular signaling in the diabetic heart
  • The role of CaMKII in vascular physiology and pathology
  • Nitric oxide as a mediator of cardiac signaling

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Current funding

  • Health Research Council Project Grant
  • Royal Society of New Zealand Marsden Fast Start Research Grant
  • University of Otago Research Grant

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Previous funding

  • American Heart Association Scientist Development Grant
  • National Institute of Health T32 Fellowship

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Publications

Erickson, J. R., Pereira, L., Wang, L., Han, G., Ferguson, A., Dao, K., … Bers, D. M. (2013). Diabetic hyperglycaemia activates CaMKII and arrhythmias by O-linked glycosylation. Nature, 502, 372-376. doi: 10.1038/nature12537

Journal - Research Article

Popescu, I., Yin, G., Velmurugan, S., Erickson, J. R., Despa, F., & Despa, S. (2019). Lower sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ threshold for triggering afterdepolarizations in diabetic rat hearts. Heart Rhythm, 16(5), 765-772. doi: 10.1016/j.hrthm.2018.11.001

Daniels, L. J., Wallace, R. S., Nicholson, O. M., Wilson, G. A., McDonald, F. J., Jones, P. P., Baldi, J. C., Lamberts, R. R., & Erickson, J. R. (2018). Inhibition of calcium/calmodulin-dependent kinase II restores contraction and relaxation in isolated cardiac muscle from type 2 diabetic rats. Cardiovascular Diabetology, 17, 89. doi: 10.1186/s12933-018-0732-x

Curl, C. L., Danes, V. R., Bell, J. R., Raaijmakers, A. J. A., Ip, W. T. K., Chandramouli, C., … Erickson, J. R., … Delbridge, L. M. D. (2018). Cardiomyocyte functional etiology in heart failure with preserved ejection fraction is distinctive: A new preclinical model. Journal of the American Heart Association, 7(11), e007451. doi: 10.1161/jaha.117.007451

Pereira, L., Rehman, H., Lao, D. H., Erickson, J. R., Bossuyt, J., Chen, J., & Bers, D. M. (2015). Novel Epac fluorescent ligand reveals distinct Epac1 vs. Epac2 distribution and function in cardiomyocytes. PNAS, 112(13), 3991-3996. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1416163112

Erickson, J. R., Nichols, C. B., Uchinoumi, H., Stein, M. L., Bossuyt, J., & Bers, D. M. (2015). S-nitrosylation induces both autonomous activation and inhibition of calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II δ. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 290(42), 25646-25656. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M115.650234

Daniels, L., Bell, J. R., Delbridge, L. M. D., McDonald, F. J., Lamberts, R. R., & Erickson, J. R. (2015). The role of CaMKII in diabetic heart dysfunction. Heart Failure Reviews, 20(5), 589-600. doi: 10.1007/s10741-015-9498-3

Bell, J. R., Raaijmakers, A. J. A., Curl, C. L., Reichelt, M. E., Harding, T. W., Bei, A., … Erickson, J. R., … Delbridge, L. M. D. (2015). Cardiac CaMKIIδ splice variants exhibit target signaling specificity and confer sex-selective arrhythmogenic actions in the ischemic-reperfused heart. International Journal of Cardiology, 181, 288-296. doi: 10.1016/j.ijcard.2014.11.159

Grimm, M., Ling, H., Willeford, A., Pereira, L., Gray, C. B. B., Erickson, J. R., … Brown, J. H. (2015). CaMKIIδ mediates β-adrenergic effects on RyR2 phosphorylation and SR Ca2+ leak and the pathophysiological response to chronic β-adrenergic stimulation. Journal of Molecular & Cellular Cardiology, 85, 282-291. doi: 10.1016/j.yjmcc.2015.06.007

Jian, Z., Han, H., Zhang, T., Puglisi, J., Izu, L. T., Shaw, J. A., … Erickson, J. R., … Chen-Izu, Y. (2014). Mechanochemotransduction during cardiomyocyte contraction is mediated by localized nitric oxide signaling. Science Signaling, 7(317), ra27. doi: 10.1126/scisignal.2005046

Zhang, D.-M., Chai, Y., Erickson, J. R., Brown, J. H., Bers, D. M., & Lin, Y.-F. (2014). Intracellular signalling mechanism responsible for modulation of sarcolemmal ATP-sensitive potassium channels by nitric oxide in ventricular cardiomyocytes. Journal of Physiology, 592(5), 971-990. doi: 10.1113/jphysiol.2013.264697

Bell, J. R., Erickson, J. R., & Delbridge, L. M. D. (2014). Ca2+/calmodulin dependent kinase II: A critical mediator in determining reperfusion outcomes in the heart? Clinical & Experimental Pharmacology & Physiology, 41(11), 940-946. doi: 10.1111/1440-1681.12301

Erickson, J. R. (2014). Mechanisms of CaMKII activation in the heart. Frontiers in Pharmacology, 5, 59. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2014.00059

Erickson, J. R., Pereira, L., Wang, L., Han, G., Ferguson, A., Dao, K., … Bers, D. M. (2013). Diabetic hyperglycaemia activates CaMKII and arrhythmias by O-linked glycosylation. Nature, 502, 372-376. doi: 10.1038/nature12537

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Journal - Research Other

Bussey, C. T., & Erickson, J. R. (2018). Physiology and pathology of cardiac CaMKII. Current Opinion in Physiology, 1, 52-58. doi: 10.1016/j.cophys.2017.07.003

Ebenebe, O. V., Heather, A., & Erickson, J. R. (2018). CaMKII in vascular signalling: “Friend or foe”? Heart, Lung & Circulation, 27(5), 560-567. doi: 10.1016/j.hlc.2017.12.003

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Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Bussey, C., Iremonger, R., Lamberts, R., & Erickson, J. (2018). Myocardial impairments preceding overt in vivo cardiac dysfunction are prevented by beta blockade in type 2 diabetic Zucker diabetic fatty rats. Heart, Lung & Circulation, 27(Suppl. 2), (pp. S114). doi: 10.1016/j.hlc.2018.06.158

Greenman, A., Diffee, G., Wallace, R., Lamberts, R., Erickson, J., & Baldi, C. (2018). Reduced myofilament calcium-sensitivity occurs without phosphorylation of cTnI serine 23/24 in human diabetic cardiomyocytes. Heart, Lung & Circulation, 27(Suppl. 2), (pp. S125). doi: 10.1016/j.hlc.2018.06.184

Bussey, C. T., Wallace, R. S., Lamberts, R. R., & Erickson, J. R. (2017). Beta-blockade restores myocardial function in type 2 diabetic rats via CaMKII-independent mechanisms. Journal of Molecular & Cellular Cardiology, 109(Suppl.), (pp. 34). doi: 10.1016/j.yjmcc.2017.06.002

Cserne Szappanos, H., Erickson, J., & Hool, L. (2017). Nitric oxide potentiates the effect of calcium/calmodulin-dependent kinase II on Cav1.2 Protein. Heart, Lung & Circulation, 26(Suppl. 2), (pp. S109). doi: 10.1016/j.hlc.2017.06.152

Ebenebe, O., Heather, A., & Erickson, J. (2017). The role of CaMKII in atherosclerotic plaque calcification in the ApoE-null mouse. Heart, Lung & Circulation, 26(Suppl. 2), (pp. S65). doi: 10.1016/j.hlc.2017.06.051

Erickson, J., Lamberts, R., & Daniels, L. (2016). CaMKII inhibition restores contractility in trabeculae from diabetic rats. Heart, Lung & Circulation, 25(Suppl. 2), (pp. S84-S85). doi: 10.1016/j.hlc.2016.06.197

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Conference Contribution - Poster Presentation (not in published proceedings)

Iremonger, R. R., Bussey, C. T., & Erickson, J. R. (2017, September). The role of beta blockers in cardiac structural remodelling. Poster session presented at the Medical Sciences Congress (MedSci), Queenstown, New Zealand.

Worthington, L. P. I., Erickson, J. R., Jones, G. T., & Heather, A. K. (2017, September). CaMKII inhibition reduces foam cell lesion development in the brachiocephalic artery of apolipoprotein E-/- knockout mice. Poster session presented at the Medical Sciences Congress (MedSci), Queenstown, New Zealand.

Worthington, L. P., Erickson, J. R., & Heather, A. K. (2016, August-September). CaMKII mediates vascular smooth muscle cell activation central to the development of atherosclerosis. Poster session presented at the Queenstown Molecular Biology (QMB) Meetings, Nelson, New Zealand.

Bussey, C., Mugloo, S., Erickson, J., Fronius, M., & Ashley, Z. (2016, December). β-blockers rescue flow-mediated responses of carotid arteries in diabetes through a reduction in vascular ENaC activity? Poster session presented at the Joint International Meeting of the Renal Scientists of the Australia and New Zealand Society of Nephrology and the Kidney in Health and Disease Network: Translational Medicine: Innovations in Renal Research, Blenheim, New Zealand.

Ebenebe, O. V., Heather, A. K., & Erickson, J. R. (2016, August-September). 17β-Estradiol induced calcification and altered CaMKII expression in a mouse model of atherosclerosis. Poster session presented at the Queenstown Molecular Biology (QMB) Meetings, Nelson, New Zealand.

Okolo, C. A., McLachlan, J. J., McLay, J. C., Erickson, J. R., & Jones, P. P. (2016, August-September). O-GlcNAcylation regulates RyR2 function directly. Poster session presented at the Queenstown Molecular Biology (QMB) Meetings, Nelson, New Zealand.

Denny, A., Erickson, J. R., Jones, P. P., & Heather, A. K. (2016, August-September). RyR2 leak and CaMKII post-translational modifications in the heart: Can this explain the altered Ca2+ handling in FSHD? Poster session presented at the Queenstown Molecular Biology (QMB) Meetings, Nelson, New Zealand.

Denny, A., Jones, P. P., Erickson, J. R., & Heather, A. K. (2016, August). Oxidised CaMKII: A novel mechanism in the pathophysiology of FSHD. Poster session presented at the Medical Sciences Congress (MedSci), Nelson, New Zealand.

Okolo, C. A., McLachlan, J. J., McLay, J., Erickson, J. R., & Jones, P. P. (2016, August). O-GlcNAcylation regulates RyR2 function directly. Poster session presented at the Medical Sciences Congress (MedSci), Nelson, New Zealand.

Ebenebe, O. V., Heather, A. K., & Erickson, J. R. (2016, August). 17β-Estradiol induced calcification and alters CaMKII expression in a mouse model of atherosclerosis. Poster session presented at the Medical Sciences Congress (MedSci), Nelson, New Zealand.

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Conference Contribution - Verbal presentation and other Conference outputs

van Hout, I., Nicholson, O., Erickson, J. R., Lamberts, R. R., & Jones, P. P. (2017, September). Alterations in calcium handling proteins in diabetic and non-diabetic patient with or without post-operative atrial fibrillation. Verbal presentation at the Medical Sciences Congress (MedSci), Queenstown, New Zealand.

Calverley, J. R., Erickson, J. R., & Lamberts, R. R. (2017, September). Determining the physiological importance of CaMKII in alpha-adrenergic (α-AR) regulation of heart function in mice. Verbal presentation at the Medical Sciences Congress (MedSci), Queenstown, New Zealand.

Daniels, L. J., Lamberts, R. R., McDonald, F., Pereira, L., Bers, D. M., & Erickson, J. R. (2017, September). The role of calcium calmodulin dependent protein kinase II in type 2 diabetic cardiac dysfunction. Verbal presentation at the Medical Sciences Congress (MedSci), Queenstown, New Zealand.

Bussey, C. T., Erickson, J. R., Fronius, M., & Ashley, Z. (2017, September). The role of vascular ENaC in impaired flow-mediated responses of carotid arteries in diabetes. Verbal presentation at the Medical Sciences Congress (MedSci), Queenstown, New Zealand.

Worthington, L. P., Erickson, J. R., & Heather, A. K. (2016, August). CaMKII activation in endothelial dysfunction. Verbal presentation at the Medical Sciences Congress (MedSci), Nelson, New Zealand.

Daniels, L. J., Lamberts, R. R., McDonald, F. J., & Erickson, J. R. (2016, August). CaMKII inhibition restores contractile performance in cardiac muscle from a rat model of type 2 diabetes. Verbal presentation at the Medical Sciences Congress (MedSci), Nelson, New Zealand.

Daniels, L. J., McDonald, F. J., Lamberts, R. R., & Erickson, J. R. (2016, August-September). The effects of CaMKII inhibition on post-rest behavior and spontaneous contractions in isolated Zucker diabetic fatty rat cardiac muscle. Verbal presentation at the Queenstown Molecular Biology (QMB) Meetings, Nelson, New Zealand.

Ebenebe, O. V., Heather, A. K., & Erickson, J. R. (2015, August-September). The role of CaMKII activation in atheroma formation in the ApoE-null mouse. Verbal presentation at the Medical Sciences Congress (MedSci), Queenstown, New Zealand.

Erickson, J. (2014, November). Activation mechanisms of CaMKII in the heart. Verbal presentation at the HeartOtago First Australasian Symposium: Bench to Bedside and Back: New Advances in Cardiovascular Research, Dunedin, New Zealand.

Erickson, J. R. (2013, August). A novel mechanism for activation of calcium/calmodulin dependent kinase II during hyperglycemia. Verbal presentation at the Medical Sciences Congress (MedSci), Queenstown, New Zealand.

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