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Selected Publications

by Brian Ledwell last modified Nov 01, 2022 05:28 PM

*denotes UWO student author

**denotes UWO alum author

  • Lewis TR, Phan S, Kim K-Y, Jha I, Castillo CM, Ding J-D, Sajdak BS, Merriman DK, Ellisman MH, Arshavsky VY (2022). Microvesicle release from inner segments of healthy photoreceptors is a conserved phenomenon in mammalian species. Disease Models & Mechanisms, in press. 
  • Kandoi S, Martinez C, Merriman DK, Lamba D (2022). Characterization of retinal development in 13-lined ground squirrels. Translational Vision Science & Technology, in press. 
  • Dai Pra R, Mohr SM, Merriman DK, Bagriantsev SH, Gracheva EO (2022). Ground squirrels initiate sexual maturation during hibernation. Curr Biol. 2022 Apr 25;32(8):1822-1828.e4. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2022.02.032.
  • Vandewege MW, Patt RN, Merriman DK, Ray DA, Hoffmann FG (2022). The PIWI/piRNA response is relaxed in a rodent that lacks mobilizing transposable elements. RNA. 2022 Apr;28(4):609-621. doi: 10.1261/rna.078862.121.
  • Gaffney M, Cooper RF, Cava JA, Follett HM**, Salmon AE, Freling S, Yu CT, Merriman DK, Carroll J (2022). Cone photoreceptor reflectance variations in Northern tree shrew and 13-lined ground squirrel. Experimental Biology & Medicine. doi:10.1177/15353702211029582.  **HMF is a former undergrad from the Kurtz lab at UW Oshkosh. 
  • Zhang et al. (2021). Pre-retinal delivery of rAAV vector significantly improves transduction efficiency.  Mol Ther Methods Clin Dev. 2021 Jun 12;22:96-106. doi: 10.1016/j.omtm.2021.06.005. 
  • Salmon AE, Chen RC-H, Atry F, Gaffney M, Merriman DK, Gil DA, Skala MC, Collery R, Allen KP, Buckland E, Pashaie R, Carroll J (2021). Optical coherence tomography angiography in the thirteen-lined ground squirrel. Transl Vis Sci Technol. 2021 Jul 1;10(8):5. doi: 10.1167/tvst.10.8.5. 
  • Miller A*, Jentz E*, Duncan C*, Merriman DK (2021). Progestogen metabolites for use in pregnancy monitoring of 13-lined ground squirrels. Reproduction & Fertility. Online version at (  
  • Feketa VV, Nikolaev YA, Merriman DK, Bagriantsev SN, Gracheva EO (2020). CNGA3 acts as a cold sensor in hypothalamic neurons. eLife 2020;9:e55370  Full version found here
    • Zhang H, Sajdak BS**, Merriman DK, McCall M, Carroll J, Lipinski D (2020). Electroretinogram of the cone-dominant 13-lined ground squirrel during euthermia and hibernation. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, in press.
    • Grabek KR, Cooke TF, Epperson LE, Spees KK, Cabral GF, Sutton SC, Merriman DK, Martin SL, Bustamante CD (2019).  Genetic variation drives seasonal onset of hibernation in the 13-lined ground squirrel. Communications Biology 2:478, full text available here
    • Verra D, Sajdak B**, Merriman DK, Hicks D (2019). Diurnal rodents as pertinent animal models of human retinal physiology and pathology. Progress in Retinal and Eye Research.  Available online at    *B. Sajdak is a former undergraduate McNair Scholar from the Merriman lab. 
    • Feng NW, Junkins MS, Merriman DK, Bagiantsev SM, Gracheva EO (2019). Osmolyte depletion and thirst suppression allow hibernators to survive for months without water. Current Biology 29:1-6.   Available online at this link   and check out this lovely 7 minute video from Cell Press summarizing the paper!
    • Sajdak B**, Salmon AE, Litts KM, Wells C, Allen KP, Dubra A, Merriman DK, Carroll J (2019). Evaluating seasonal changes of cone photoreceptor structure in the 13-lined ground squirrel. Vision Research 158:90-99.  Available online at this link   **B. Sajdak is a former undergraduate McNair Scholar from the Merriman lab. 
    • Agbaga, M-P, Merriman DK, Brush RS, Lydic TA, Conley SM, Naash MI, Jackson S, Woods AS, Reid GE, Busik JV, Anderson RE (2018).  Differential composition of DHA and Very Long Chain PUFAs in rod and cone photoreceptors.  Journal of Lipid Research 59:1586-96.   This paper was chosen for special attention from the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology: "By venturing beyond the lab mouse to study the eyes of diurnal small mammals, scientists have uncovered a difference in the composition of rod and cone cell membranes that may explain how a genetic form of macular dystrophy targets only parts of the retina." 
    • Ou J,Ball JM, Luan Y, Zhao T, Miyagishima KJ, Xu Y, Zhou H, Chen J, Merriman DK, Xie Z, Mallon BS, Li W (2018).  iPSCs from a hibernator provide a platform for studying cold adaptation and its potential medical applications. Cell 173 (and we got the cover photo!)  Video abstract on YouTube at   Full text at    Favorably reviewed in Science:
    • Matos-Cruz V, Schneider ER, Mastrotto M, Merriman DK, Bagriantsev SN, Gracheva EO (2017). Molecular prerequisites for diminished cold sensitivity in ground squirrels and hamsters. Cell Reports 21(12):p3329-3337. doi:  We got the cover photo!  
    •  Laursen WF, Schneider ER, Merriman DK, Bagriantsev SN, Gracheva EO (2016). Low-cost functional plasticity of TRPV1 supports heat tolerance in squirrels and camels. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 113:11342-11347.
    • Hoffstaetter LJ, Mastrotto M, Merriman DK, Dib-Hajj SD, Waxman SG, Bagriantsev SN, Gracheva EO (2018). Somatosensory neurons undergo a state of altered excitability during hibernation. Current Biology 28:2998-3004. Full text at
    • Sajdak BS*, Bell BA, Lewis TR, Luna G, Cornwell GS, Fisher SK, Merriman DK, Carroll J (2018). Assessment of outer retinal remodeling in the hibernating 13-lined ground squirrel retina.  Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, 59(6):2538-2547. Full text at link.  *B. Sajdak is a former undergraduate McNair Scholar from the Merriman lab. 

    • Merriman DK, Sajdak BS*, Li W, Jones BW (2016).  Seasonal and post-trauma remodeling in cone-dominant ground squirrel retina. Experimental Eye Research 150:90-105.  [*B. Sajdak is a former undergraduate McNair Scholar from the Merriman lab.]  link to article

    • Lahvis G, Panksepp J, Kennedy B, Merriman DK (2015). Social conditioned place preference by captive ground squirrels: social reward as natural phenotype.  Journal of Comparative Psychology 129:291-303

    • Laursen WJ, Mastrotto M, Pesta D, Funk OH, Goodman JB, Merriman DK, Ingolia N, Shulman GI, Bagriantsev SN, Gracheva EO (2015). Neuronal UCP1 expression suggests a mechanism for local thermogenesis during hibernation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 112: 1607-12. 

    • Fujino K, Horie M, Honda T, Merriman DK, Tomonaga K (2014). Inhibition of Borna disease virus replication by an endogenous bornavirus-like element in the ground squirrel genome. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 111: 13175-80. 

    • Xu R, Andres-Mateos E, Mejias R, MacDonald EM, Leinwand LA, Merriman DK, Fink R, Cohn RD (2013). Hibernating squirrel muscle activates the endurance exercise pathway despite prolonged immobilization.  Experimental Neurology 247:392-401.



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    by Brian Ledwell last modified Nov 01, 2022 05:28 PM