Damien Samways

Associate Professor
Damien  Samways Headshot

Education Background

Department of Pharmacology Ph.D. - 2003 University of Bristol

Courses Taught

  • BY460 - Neurobiology
  • BY360/BY362 - Comparative Physiology
  • BY452 - Pharmacology


  • Chair of the Health Professions Committee

Research Interests

Our laboratory is interested in how cells use surface receptors, specifically ion channels and G protein-coupled receptors, to sense and respond to extracellular neurotransmitters, hormones and drugs. Our particular focus is on those cell signaling mechanisms involving the ubiquitous cytosolic second messenger, Ca2+, which plays a key role in regulating numerous cellular processes including secretion, muscle contraction, cell migration, and gene regulation. Cell Ca2+ signaling often becomes disrupted as a consequence of carcinogenesis, and we are currently using cervical cancer as a model to explore the possible implications of this. Our lab is also interested in the potential for using endogenous receptor-mediated signaling pathways as a means to stimulate cellular uptake and accumulation of intracellularly active drugs, including chemotherapeutics.


  • X. Liang, D.S.K. Samways, J. Cox and T.M. Egan (2019). Ca2+ flux through splice variants of the ATP-gated ionotropic receptor P2X7 is regulated by its cytoplasmic N terminus. J Biol Chem. In Press.
  • D. Xu, D.S.K. Samways and H. Dong (2017). Fabrication of self-assembling nanofibers with optimal cell uptake and therapeutic delivery efficacy. Bioact Mater. 2, 260-268
  • M. Bukhari, H. Burm and D.S.K. Samways (2016). Ion channel-mediated uptake of cationic vital dyes into live cells: a potential source of error when assessing cell viability. Cell Biol Toxicol. 32, 363-71
  • D. Xu, L. Jiang, L. DeRidder, B Elmore, M. Bukhari, Q. Wei, D.S.K. Samways and H. Dong (2016).  Membrane activity of a supramolecular peptide-based chemotherapeutic enhancer.
  • Mol Biosyst. 12, 2695-9
  • D.S.K. Samways, E. Tomkeiwicz, O.M. Langevin and M. Bukhari (2016).  Measurement of relative Ca²⁺ permeability during sustained activation of TRPV1 receptors. Pflugers Arch. 468, 201-11
  • H.S. Mohammed, B.L. Snyder, D.S.K. Samways and D.A. Shipp (2016). Quantitative and qualitative toxicological evaluation of thiol-ene "click" chemistry-based polyanhydrides and
  • their degradation products.  J Biomed Mater Res A. 104,1936-45  
  • M Bukhari, H. Deng, N. Jones, Z. Towne, C.D.  Woodworth, D.S.K. Samways (2015). Selective
  • permeabilization of cervical cancer cells to an ionic DNA-binding cytotoxin by activation of P2Y receptors. FEBS Lett. 589,1498-504
  • D. Xu, D. Dustin, L. Jiang, D.S.K. Samways, H. Dong (2015). Designed filamentous cell penetrating peptides: probing supramolecular structure-dependent membrane activity and transfection efficiency. Chem Commun. 51,11757-60
  • K.L. Poetz, H.S. Mohammed, G. Liddil, D.S.K. Samways, and D.A. Shipp (2014). A Study of the Degradation Product from Polyanhydrides Synthesized by Thiol-Ene Polymerization. Biomacromolecules. 15, 2573-82
  • L. Zhang, H. Xu, Y. Jie, C. Gao, W. Chen, S. Yin, D.S.K. Samways, and Z. Li (2014). Involvement of Residue L214 of P2X4 Receptor in ATP Binding and Channel Gating. J. Biol. Chem. 53, 3012-9



Office Phone Number: 315/268-7851

Office Location: 208 Sci Ctr Bio Chem Wing

Clarkson Box Number: CU Box 5805