Shawn B. Bender, PhD

Associate Professor

  • BS: Lebanon Valley College, Annville, PA
  • PhD: Ohio University, Athens, OH
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship: University of Missouri, Columbia, MO
Shawn B. Bender

Phone: 573-814-6000 x53731
Lab: 573-814-6000 x53717

Teaching: Veterinary Pharmacology, Veterinary Physiology


The long-term goal of our research program is to elucidate mechanisms of obesity-associated coronary microvascular dysfunction and thereby identify novel pathways and therapeutic targets to reduce cardiovascular complications in these patients. The central premise of our work is that coronary microvascular dysfunction and the resultant impairment of coronary blood flow control is an independent predictor of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in obese, diabetic patients. Impaired coronary microvascular function is estimated to account for more than 60% of cardiac perfusion defects in patients with type 2 diabetes. Thus, coronary microvascular dysfunction is a significant contributor to impaired cardiac function, ischemia, infarct, and mortality in these patients.

Current projects in the laboratory focus on the role of the aldosterone-binding mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) as a mediator of coronary and cardiac dysfunction in obesity. A growing body of evidence has implicated MR signaling in vascular cells as an important mediator of vascular and cardiac dysfunction in various disease states. Our studies utilize an integrative combination of in vivo and in vitro approaches including cell/tissue culture and clinically relevant mouse models coupled with molecular techniques.


Complete list of publications:

Sorop O, van de Wouw J, Chandler S, Ohanyan V, Tune JD, Chilian WM, Merkus D, Bender SB, Duncker DJ. Experimental animal models of coronary microvascular dysfunction. Cardiovasc Res 116(4):756-770, 2020.

Khan M, Meuth AI, Brown SM, Chandrasekar B, Bowles DK, Bender SB. Aldosterone impairs coronary adenosine-mediated vasodilation via reduced functional expression of Ca2+-activated K+ channels. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 317(2):H357-H363, 2019.

Brown SM, Meuth AI, Davis JW, Rector RS, Bender SB. Mineralocorticoid receptor antagonism reverses diabetes-related coronary vasodilator dysfunction: a unique vascular transcriptomic signature. Pharmacol Res 134:100-108, 2018.

Brown SM, Smith CE, Meuth AI, Khan M, Aroor AR, Cleeton HM, Meininger GA, Sowers JR, DeMarco VG, Chandrasekar B, Nistala R, Bender SB. Dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibition with saxagliptin ameliorates angiotensin II-induced cardiac diastolic dysfunction in male mice. Endocrinology 158(10):3592-3604, 2017.

Mueller KB, Bender SB, Hong K, Yang Y, Aronovitz M, Jaisser F, Hill MA, Jaffe IZ. Endothelial mineralocorticoid receptors differentially contribute to coronary and mesenteric vascular function without modulating blood pressure. Hypertension 66(5):988-997, 2015.

Bender SB, Castorena-Gonzalez JA, Garro M, Reyes-Aldasoro CC, Sowers JR, DeMarco VG, Martinez-Lemus LA. Regional variation in arterial stiffening and dysfunction in Western diet-induced obesity. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 309(4):H574-582, 2015.

Bender SB, DeMarco VG, Padilla J, Jenkins NT, Habibi J, Garro M, Pulakat L, Aroor AR, Jaffe IZ, Sowers JR. Mineralocorticoid receptor antagonism treats obesity-associated cardiac diastolic dysfunction. Hypertension 65(5):1082-1088, 2015.

DuPont JJ, Hill MA, Bender SB, Jaisser F, Jaffe IZ. Aldosterone and mineralocorticoid receptors: regulators of ion channels beyond the kidney. Hypertension 63(4):632-637, 2014.

Bender SB, de Beer VJ, Tharp DL, Bowles DK, Duncker DJ, Laughlin MH, Merkus D. Reduced contribution of endothelin to the regulation of systemic and pulmonary vascular tone in severe familial hypercholesterolemia. J Physiol 592(8): 1757-1769, 2014.

Aroor AR, Sowers JR, Bender SB, Nistala R, Garro M, Mugerfeld I, Hayden MR, Johnson MS, Salam M, Whaley-Connell A, DeMarco VG. Dipeptidylpeptidase inhibition is associated with improvement in blood pressure and diastolic function in insulin-resistant male Zucker obese rats. Endocrinology 154(7): 2501-2513, 2013.

Bender SB, McGraw AP, Jaffe IZ, Sowers JR. Perspectives: Mineralocorticoid receptor-mediated vascular insulin resistance: an early contributor to diabetes-related vascular dysfunction? Diabetes 62(2): 313-319, 2013.

McCurley A, Pires PW, Bender SB, Aronovitz M, Zhao MJ, Metzger D, Chambon P, Hill MA, Dorrance AM, Mendelsohn ME, Jaffe IZ. Direct regulation of blood pressure by smooth muscle cell mineralocorticoid receptors. Nat Med 18(9): 1429-1433, 2012.

Bender SB, Newcomer SC, Laughlin MH. Differential vulnerability of skeletal muscle feed arteries to dysfunction in insulin resistance: impact of fiber type and daily activity. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 300(4): H1434-H1441, 2011.

Bender SB, Tune JD, Borbouse L, Long X, Sturek M, Laughlin MH. Altered mechanism of adenosine-induced coronary arteriolar dilation in early-stage metabolic syndrome. Exp Biol Med 234(6): 683-692, 2009.

Borbouse L, Dick GM, Asano S, Bender SB, Dincer UD, Payne GA, Neeb ZP, Bratz IN, Sturek M, Tune JD. Impaired function of coronary BKCa channels in metabolic syndrome. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 297(5): H1629-H1637, 2009.

Bender SB, Klabunde RE. Altered role of smooth muscle endothelin receptors in coronary endothelin-1 and α1-adrenoceptor-mediated vasoconstriction in type 2 diabetes. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 293(4): H2281-H2288, 2007.