Personal profile


Dr Beard and her research team investigate how intracellular calcium signaling pathways initiate muscle contraction. We explore and define the mechanisms which lead to control of calcium signalling and the way in which these are disrupted in skeletal myopathies, cardiomyopathy and heart failure.

Muscle contraction occurs due to a cascade of events and relies on calcium release from intracellular stores. The four main cogs in the intracellular calcium signalling pathway are the calcium binding protein calsequestrin (CSQ), the ryanodine receptor (RyR) calcium release channel, and two linking proteins - triadin and junctin - which bind CSQ to the RyR. Control of calcium release in muscle is vital; disturbances in the process can lead to potentially fatal skeletal and cardiac conditions.

Despite their essential role in skeletal muscle and the heart, the functional and structural interactions between the proteins that drive calcium signalling are poorly understood and form the broad aims of our research.

Currently funded projects include:

  • Calcium signalling by intracellular calcium stores: implications for muscle performance and athletic ability
  • Calcium homeostatis disturbances and human heart failure
  • Understanding how chemotherapy agents cause cardiotoxicity

Research interests

  • Heart failure
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Skeletal muscle ageing and myopathy


Related Links

External positions

Secretary, Gage Conferences on Musclee


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Ryanodine Receptor Calcium Release Channel Chemical Compounds
Muscle Chemical Compounds

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Projects 2011 2015

Anthracyclines disrupt Ca2+ signalling in cardiomyocytes: a contribution to cardiac toxicity

BEARD, N., Dulhunty, A. F., Arnolda, L. & Blackburn, A.


Project: OtherResearch

Research Output 2002 2017

8 Citations

Core skeletal muscle ryanodine receptor calcium release complex

Casarotto, M., Wei-LaPierre, L. & BEARD, N. 2017 In : Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology. 44, 1, p. 3-12 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Physiology and Pharmacology of Ryanodine Receptor Calcium Release Channels

Dulhunty, A. F., Board, P. G., Beard, N. A. & Casarotto, M. G. 2017 In : Advances in Pharmacology. 79, p. 287-324 38 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations

Ryanodine receptor modification and regulation by intracellular Ca2 + and Mg2 + in healthy and failing human hearts

Walweel, K., Molenaar, P., Imtiaz, M., dos Remedios, C., van Helden, D., laver, D. & BEARD, N. 2017 In : Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology. 104, p. 53-62 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations

Three residues in the luminal domain of triadin impact on Trisk 95 activation of skeletal muscle ryanodine receptors

Wium, E., Dulhunty, A. F. & BEARD, N. 2016 In : Pflugers Archiv. 468, 11-12, p. 1985-1994 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Ryanodine Receptor Calcium Release Channel
Ion Channels
Protein Isoforms
7 Citations