Damian S. Shin, MSc PhD

Interim Chair & Professor
Neuroscience and Experimental Therapeutics

Areas of Study

Neuronal signaling, DBS, and pharmacotherapy


  • Toronto Western Hospital2009Postdoctoral Fellowship
  • University of Toronto2005PhD
  • University of Western Ontario1999MSc


My lab has two divergent interests in neuroscience research. In one line of research, we aim to characterize the aberrant neuronal signaling underlying Parkinson's disease (PD) at the cellular and network level. This will help to reveal novel therapeutics, including neuromodulation. In the other line of research, we examine possible treatment options for epilepsy which involve deep brain stimulation (DBS) or pharmacotherapy.

To undertake either task, my laboratory employs a variety of electrophysiological techniques to monitor neuronal activity in brain slices and from multiple brain regions from anesthetized or freely moving animals.

We also employ behavioral testing of animals, immunohistochemistry and optogenetics to complement the electrophysiology.

The specific RESEARCH GOALS of my lab are outlined below.

Understand the network pathophysiology underlying PD and epilepsy.

To do this, we examine single cell and network neuronal activity under normal and diseased states.

Chart showing neuronal activity in brain slices under normal and diseased states.

Investigate mechanism(s) underlying the therapeutic effects of DBS for treating symptoms of PD and epilepsy.

This may reveal ways to improve outcomes, minimize stimulation-induced complications and/or expand the efficacy of this approach.

A series of graphs showing voltage of Deep Brain Stimulation over time.

Identify novel chemicals which can serve as an antiepileptic drug for epilepsy.

Compiled readings to try to identify novel chemicals which can serve as an antiepileptic drug for epilepsy.


Mahoney-Rafferty EC, Tucker HR, Akhtar K, Herlihy R, Audil A, Shah D, Gupta M, Kochman EM, Feustel PJ, Molho ES, Pilitsis JG, Shin DS (2023). Assessing the location, relative expression and subclass of dopamine receptors in the cerebellum of hemi-parkinsonian rats. Neuroscience. Epub ahead of print.

Bao J, Byraju K, Patel VJ, Hellman A, Neubauer P, Burdette C, Rafferty E, Park YL, Trowbridge R, Shin DS, Pilitsis JG (2022). The effects of low intensity focused ultrasound on neuronal activity in pain processing regions in a rodent model of common peroneal nerve injury. Neuroscience Letters. 789:136882.

Cotero V, Graf J, Miwa H, Hirschstein Z, Qanud K, Huerta TS, Tai N, Ding Y, Jimenez-Cowell KJ, Tomaio J-N, Song W, Deverajan A, Tsaava T, Madhavan R, Wallace K, Loghin E, Morton C, Fan Y, Kao T-J, Akhtar K, Damaraju M, Barenboim L, Maietta T, Ashe J, Tracey KJ Coleman TR, Carlo D, Shin D, Zanos S, Chavan SS, Herzo RI, Puleo C (2022). Stimulation of the hepatoportal nerve plexus with focused ultrasound restores glucose homeostasis in diabetic mice, rats and swine. Nature Biomedical Engineering. 6(6):683-705.

Fung I, Zhang Y, Shin DS, Sankar P, Sun X, D'Souza S, Song R, Kuentzel M, Chittur S, Zuloaga KL, Yang Q (2021). Group 2 innate lymphoid cells are numerically and functionally deficient in the triple transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer's disease. Journal of Neuroinflammation. 18(1):152-166.

Kochman, EM, Akhtar K, Alelayawi A, Shin DS (2021). Clinical and pre-clinical evidence for enteric alpha-synuclein involvement in Parkinson's disease. International Journal of Neurodegenerative Disorders. 4(1):1-12.

View Damian S. Shin's articles on the National Institute of Health's PubMed website.