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Dr. Conor McCloskey

My research career began in 2001 when during a gap year I worked under the tutelage of Dr. Sang Don Koh in the Department of Physiology and Cell Biology at the University of Reno, Nevada. The study explored the effects of female steroid hormones on A-type K+ currents in murine colon and gave me valuable experience of the whole-cell patch-clamp technique.

Upon completion of my year in Nevada I returned to Belfast where I completed my B.Sc and embarked on a Ph.D under the supervision of Dr. Keith Thornbury looking into the electrical activity in isolated smooth muscle cells of the rabbit corpus cavernosum. During my Ph.D we identified voltage gated calcium currents and presented evidence for their role in the generation of the spontaneous calcium waves that underlie tone in the cells.

I was awarded my Ph.D in 2007 and shortly after this I took up a postdoctoral position working with Martyn Mahaut-Smith of the Department of Cell Physiology and Pharmacology, University of Leicester. During my time in Leicester we explored the roles of potassium channels and calcium signaling in the platelet and megakaryocyte, giving me the chance to learn additional calcium imaging techniques.

Having learned some new techniques and experienced a new scientific field I returned to the field of smooth muscle physiology, when in 2010 I accepted a position working with Dr. Andrew Blanks within the Reproductive Health group at the University of Warwick, where we are studying the role of potassium channels in maintenance of uterine quiescence.



  • McCloskey C, Jones S, Amisten S, Snowden RT, Kaczmarek LK, Erlinge D, Goodall AH, Forsythe ID, and Mahaut-Smith MP (2010) Kv1.3 is the exclusive voltage-gated K+ channel of platelets and megakaryocytes: roles in membrane potential, Ca2+ signaling and platelet count. J Physiol 588 (Pt 9) 1399-1406 [PubMed]
  • McCloskey C, Cagney V, Large RJ, Hollywood MA, Sergeant GP, McHale NG, Thornbury KD (2009) Voltage-dependent Ca2+ Currents Contribute to Spontaneous Ca2+ Waves in Rabbit Corpus Cavernosum Myocytes. Journal of Sexual Medicine 6 (11) 3019-3031 [PubMed]
  • Beckett EA, McCloskey C, O'Kane N, Sanders KM, Koh SD (2006) Effects of female steroid hormones on A-type K+ currents in murine colon. J Physiol 573 (Pt 2) 453-468 [PubMed]