Prof Mike Shipston

My laboratory is particularly interested in posttranscriptional and posttranslational mechanisms of ion channel regulation and their role in the dynamic control of cellular excitability and systems level function in health and disease.

Professor Mike Shipston

Dean of BMS, Professor of Physiology

Hugh Robson Building

15 George Square

Edinburgh EH8 9XD

Contact details

 Work: +44 (0)131 650 3253

 PA: +44 (0)131 651 1692



Personal profile

  • Wellcome Trust Advanced Training Fellow 1993-1996, University of Edinburgh and NIEHS, USA
  • PhD, MRC Brain Metabolism Unit 1992
  • BSc (1st Class Hons), University of St Andrews 1989

Research Theme


Prof. Mike Shipston's research briefing

Research is particularly focused on post-transcriptional and post-translational mechanisms, such as alternative pre mRNA splicing and protein S-acylation, that control ion channel physiology and how dysregulation may lead to major stress and endocrine related disorders. 

The laboratory takes an Integrative Physiology approach examining from the level of single ion channel proteins, through control of cell and systems physiology to whole body function.


Team members


Recent publications

Romanó N, McClafferty H, Walker JT, leTissier, P & Shipston MJ (2017) Heterogeneity of calcium responses to secretagogues in corticotrophs from male rats. Endocrinology 158:1849-1858

Illison J, Tian L, McClafferty H, Werno M, Chamberlain LH, Leiss V, Sassmann A, Offermanns S, Ruth P, Shipston MJ, Lukowski R (2016). Obesogenic and diabetogenic effects of high-calorie nutrition require adipocyte BK channels.  Diabetes 65:3621-3635

Duncan PJ, Tabak J, Ruth P, Bertram R, Shipston MJ (2016) Glucocorticoids inhibit CRH/AVP-evoked bursting activity of male murine anterior pituitary corticotrophs. Endocrinology 157:3108-312.

Duncan PJ, Şengül S, Tabak J, Ruth P, Bertram R, Shipston MJ (2015) Large conductance Ca2+ -activated K+ (BK) channels promote secretagogue-induced transition from spiking to bursting in murine anterior pituitary corticotrophs. J Physiol. 593:1197-1211

Chamberlain LH & Shipston MJ (2015) The physiology of protein S-acylation. Physiological Reviews 95:341-376

Howie J, Reilly L, Fraser NJ, Vlachaki Walker JM, Wypijewski KJ, Ashford ML, Calaghan SC, McClafferty H, Tian L, Shipston MJ, Boguslavskyi A, Shattock MJ, Fuller W. (2014) Substrate recognition by the cell surface palmitoyl transferase DHHC5. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 111:17534-9

Chen L, Bi D, Tian L, McClafferty H, Steeb F, Ruth P, Knaus HG, Shipston MJ. (2013) Palmitoylation of the b4-subunit regulates surface expression of large conductance calcium-activated potassium channel splice variants J Biol Chem 288:13136-13144 PMID: 23504458

Tian L, McClafferty H, Knaus H-G, Ruth P & Shipston MJ (2012). Distinct acyl protein transferases and thioesterases control surface expression of calcium-activated potassium (BK) channels. J Biol Chem 287:14718-14725

Tian, L., McClafferty, H., Jeffries, O & Shipston M.J. (2010) Multiple palmitoyltransferases are required for palmitoylation-dependent regulation of large conductance calcium- and voltage- activated potassium channels. J Biol Chem 285: 23954-23962.

Tian, L., Jeffries, O.J., McClafferty, H., Molyvdas, A., Rowe, I.C.M. Saleem, F., Chen L., Greaves, J., Chamberlain, L.H., Knaus, H.G., Ruth P., & Shipston, M.J. (2008) Palmitoylation gates phosphorylation-dependent regulation of BK potassium channels. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 105:21006-21011.

Mike Shipston publication list (PDF)


Research in a nutshell

eCAT (YouTube video)

Information for students:

Willingness to discuss research projects with undergraduate and postgraduate students: YES - please click here