Isaac Pessah

Isaac Pessah

Position Title
Distinguished Professor; Associate Dean Research and Graduate Education

Department of Molecular Biosciences, School of Veterinary Medicine

2203 VM3A

Profile Introduction

Molecular and cellular mechanisms regulating ryanodine receptors and Ca2+ signaling

Research Interests

Molecular and cellular mechanisms regulating ryanodine receptors and Ca2+ signaling

Gene by environment interactions contributing to neuromuscular and neurodevelopmental disorders

Grad Group Affiliations

  • Neuroscience
  • Pharmacology/Toxicology


  • Pessah Lab: 2206 VM3B
    • Wei Feng, Gennady Cherednychenko, Kim Truong, Shane Antrobus, Atefeh Mousavi Nik

Honors and Awards

  • Pfizer Research Excellence
  • Elsevier Distinguished Lectureship
  • CAN/Autism Speaks Environmental Innovator

    Professional Societies

    • Biophysical Society
    • American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
    • Society of Toxicology
    • American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB)
    • AAAS
    • SETAC


    • 1977 BS Biology Cornell University
    • 1981 MS Toxicology University of Maryland
    • 1983 PhD Toxicology University of Maryland

    Publications (last 2 years)

    1. Zhou, J., Allen, P. D., andPessah, I. N. (2018). Malignant Hyperthermia and Other Related Disorders.In Miller’s Anesthesia, Chapter 43, 9thEdition, Gropper RD, et al., eds., 2018, Elsevier Health Sciences,  NY, NY.
    2. Van De Water J. A., and Pessah, I. N. (2018).Environmental Toxicity and Immune Dysregulation: Bench to Bedside and Practical Assessment. Chapter 4 in Autism Spectrum DisordersHollander, E., Hagerman, R. J., and Fein, D., eds. American Psychiatric Association, Publishing
    3.   Zheng J, McKinnie SMK, El Gamal A, Feng W, Dong Y, Agarwal V, Fenical W, Kumar A, Cao Z, Moore BS, Pessah IN. Organohalogens Naturally Biosynthesized in Marine Environments and Produced as Disinfection Byproducts Alter Sarco/Endoplasmic Reticulum Ca2+ Dynamics. Environ Sci Technol. 2018 May 1;52(9):5469-5478.

    4. Feng W, Zheng J, Robin G, Dong Y, Ichikawa M, Inoue Y, Mori T, Nakano T, Pessah IN. Enantioselectivity of 2,2',3,5',6-Pentachlorobiphenyl (PCB 95) Atropisomers toward Ryanodine Receptors (RyRs) and Their Influences on Hippocampal Neuronal Networks. Environ Sci Technol. 2017 Dec 19;51(24):14406-14416. 

    5. Robin G, López JR, Espinal GM, Hulsizer S, Hagerman PJ, Pessah IN. Calcium dysregulation and Cdk5-ATM pathway involved in a mouse model of fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome. Hum Mol Genet. 2017 Jul 15;26(14):2649-2666. 
    6. Nik AM, Pressly B, Singh V, Antrobus S, Hulsizer S, Rogawski MA, Wulff H, Pessah IN. Rapid Throughput Analysis of GABAA Receptor Subtype Modulators and Blockers Using DiSBAC1(3) Membrane Potential Red Dye. Mol Pharmacol. 2017 Jul;92(1):88-99. 

    7. Holland EB, Goldstone JV, Pessah IN, Whitehead A, Reid NM, Karchner SI, Hahn ME, Nacci DE, Clark BW, Stegeman JJ. Ryanodine receptor and FK506 binding protein 1 in the Atlantic killifish (Fundulus heteroclitus): A phylogenetic and population-based comparison. Aquat Toxicol. 2017 Nov;192:105-115.

    8. Zhang R, Pessah IN. Divergent Mechanisms Leading to Signaling Dysfunction in Embryonic Muscle by Bisphenol A and Tetrabromobisphenol A. Mol Pharmacol. 2017 Apr;91(4):428-436. 

    9. Cao Z, Xu J, Hulsizer S, Cui Y, Dong Y, Pessah IN. Influence of tetramethylenedisulfotetramine on synchronous calcium oscillations at distinct developmental stages of hippocampal neuronal cultures. Neurotoxicology. 2017 Jan;58:11-22.

    10. Holland EB, Feng W, Zheng J, Dong Y, Li X, Lehmler HJ, Pessah IN. An Extended Structure-Activity Relationship of Nondioxin-Like PCBs Evaluates and Supports Modeling Predictions and Identifies Picomolar Potency of PCB 202 Towards Ryanodine Receptors. Toxicol Sci. 2017 Jan;155(1):170-181.

    11. Lim ETUddin MDe Rubeis SChan YKamumbu ASZhang XD'Gama AMKim SNHill RSGoldberg APPoultney CMinshew NJKushima IAleksic BOzaki NParellada MArango CPenzol MJCarracedo AKolevzon AHultman CM1, Weiss LAFromer MChiocchetti AG21, Freitag CM21;  Church GMScherer SWBuxbaum JD,  Walsh CAAutism Sequencing ConsortiumAleksic BAnney RBarbosa MBarrett JBetancur CBishop SBrusco ABuxbaum JDCarracedo AChiocchetti AGChung BHYCook ECoon HCutler DJDaly MDe Rubeis SDoan RFernández-Prieto MFerrero GBFreitag CMFromer MGargus JGeschwind DGill MGómez-Guerrero LHansen-Kiss EHe XHerman GHertz-Picciotto IHultman CIliadou BIonita-Laza IJugessur AKnudsen GPKolevzon AKosmicki JKushima ILee SLLehner TLennertz SLim EMaciel PMagnus PManoach DMinshew NMorrow EMulle JNeale BOzaki NPalotie AParellada MPassos-Bueno MRPericak-Vance MPersico APessah IReichenberg AReichert JRenieri ARobinson ESamocha KSanders SSandin SSantangelo SLSatterstrom KSchafer CSchellenberg GScherer SSenthil GSilva MSingh TSiper PMSoares GStevens CStoltenberg CSurén PSutcliffe JSSzatmari PTassone FThurm AWalsh CWeiss LWerling DWillsey JXu XYu TWYuen RZwick MERates, distribution and implications of postzygotic mosaic mutations in autism spectrum disorder. Nat Neurosci. 2017 Sep;20(9):1217-1224.

    12. Dunaway KW, Islam MS, Coulson RL, Lopez SJ, Vogel Ciernia A, Chu RG, Yasui DH, Pessah IN, Lott P, Mordaunt C, Meguro-Horike M, Horike SI, Korf I, LaSalle JM. Cumulative Impact of Polychlorinated Biphenyl and Large Chromosomal Duplications on DNA Methylation, Chromatin, and Expression of Autism Candidate Genes. Cell Rep. 2016 Dec 13;17(11):3035-3048.