Our Research

Dr. Benson's research interests include the study of ion channels involved in sensation. We have focused on a class of ion channels called Acid-sensing Ion Channels (ASICs), which play a role in responses to nociceptive, taste, and mechanical stimuli. We have discovered that ASICs are highly expressed in cardiac sensory neurons and we believe they are particularly important as pH sensors in the setting of myocardial ischemia. In addition, we are interested in how cardiac afferent activation might trigger deleterious neural reflexes in cardiac disease states. Our lab is also interested on the general physiology of ASIC channels, and has discovered several proteins and signaling pathways that modulate ASIC function. Our research methods utilize electrophysiology, whole animal recordings, molecular and cell biology, and protein biochemistry techniques.

Recent Publications


MG53 is dispensable for T-tubule maturation but critical for maintaining T-tubule integrity following cardiac stress.
Zhang C, Chen B, Wang Y, Guo A, Tang Y, Khataei T, Shi Y, Kutschke WJ, Zimmerman K, Weiss RM, Liu J, Benson CJ, Hong J, Ma J, Song LS.
J Mol Cell Cardiol. 2017 Aug 16. pii: S0022-2828(17)30288-2. doi: 10.1016/j.yjmcc.2017.08.007. 


The volume-regulated anion channel (LRRC8) in nodose neurons is sensitive to acidic pH.
Wang R, Lu Y, Gunasekar S, Zhang Y, Benson CJ, Chapleau MW, Sah R, Abboud FM.
JCI Insight. 2017 Mar 9;2(5):e90632. doi: 10.1172/jci.insight.90632.


Treatment persistence and hospitalization rates among patients with schizophrenia: a quasi-experiment to evaluate a patient information program.
Pilon D, Amos TB, Germain G, Lafeuille MH, Lefebvre P, Benson CJ.
Curr Med Res Opin. 2017 Apr;33(4):713-721. doi: 10.1080/03007995.2016.1277989. 


Heart failure induces changes in acid-sensing ion channels in sensory neurons innervating skeletal muscle.
Gibbons DD, Kutschke WJ, Weiss RM, Benson CJ.
J Physiol. 2015 Oct 15;593(20):4575-87. 


ASICs and cardiovascular homeostasis.
Abboud FM, Benson CJ.
Neuropharmacology. 2015 Jul;94:87-98. 


Intersubunit conformational changes mediate epithelial sodium channel gating.
Collier DM, Tomkovicz VR, Peterson ZJ, Benson CJ, Snyder PM.
J Gen Physiol. 2014 Oct;144(4):337-48.


ASIC2 subunits facilitate expression at the cell surface and confer regulation by PSD-95.
Harding AM, Kusama N, Hattori T, Gautam M, Benson CJ.
PLoS One. 2014 Apr 3;9(4):e93797. 

Link to All Publications - Pubmed

Contact the Benson Lab

Eckstein Medical Research Building


Campus Map | Directions

Office Location:
E315 GH
Iowa City, IA 52246

Ph: 319-356-4991

Lab Location:
Iowa City, IA 52246

Ph: 319-335-8412