Luke Michaelson


Department of Primary Appointment:
School of Medicine
Research Assistant Professor
Location: Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD
Research Interests:
Malignant Hyperthermia
Calcium kinetics, muscle physiology, embedded heavy metals
Office Phone


2011 Doctor of Philosophy, Nursing University of Maryland School of Nursing, Baltimore, MD
2007 Master of Science, Nursing: Clinical Research Management University of Maryland School of Nursing, Baltimore, MD
2003 Bachelor of Science, Nursing University of Maryland School of Nursing, Baltimore, MD
1996 Bachelor of Science, Chemical Engineering Florida Institute of Technology Melbourne, FL


Dr. Michaelson was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Ordnance Corps (Reserves), Army, from ROTC. He graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Chemical Engineering in 1996 from Florida Institute of Technology. Dr. Michaelson then accepted positions within the 536th Support Battalion (Forward) Texas Army Reserve National Guard as a Supply Officer and Maintenance Control Officer. His concurrent civilian work at Bechtel International included Subcontract and Contract Administrator responsibilities (1997-2001). Dr. Michaelson then changed careers and graduated from the University of Maryland School of Nursing with a BSN in 2004. After graduation, he worked as an Emergency Department and Chest Pain Unit staff nurse at Howard County General Hospital, in Columbia, MD for approximately three years.

Dr. Michaelson continued his education and completed his Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (2011) focusing on the altered calcium homeostasis in dystrophic skeletal muscle at the University of Maryland. The Department of Veterans Affairs then awarded Dr. Michaelson a Postdoctoral Nursing Fellowship (2012-2015) in Dr. Christine E. Kasper’s Lab at the Uniformed Services University. His postdoctoral research investigated how implanted heavy metals altered the fatigability and susceptibility of eccentric injury in skeletal muscle. Dr. Michaelson accepted a Research Assistant Professor position within the Department of Anesthesiology in 2016. He currently performs the diagnostic caffeine halothane contracture test (CHCT) for the Malignant Hyperthermia Diagnostic Laboratory for military and civilian subjects. His research now investigates calcium homeostasis differences between malignant hyperthermia susceptible (MHS) and malignant hyperthermia non-susceptible (MHN) subjects using a B-lymphocyte model.

Extramural/ Intramural Funding

2020 - 2023 $2.5 million
“An Interdisciplinary Approach to Investigating Exertional Related Injuries in the Service Member.”
Cooperative Award MEM-91-3397 (1 OCT 2020 - 31 DEC 2023) Project 3, Biomarkers for ERI
COL Francis O' Connor (Ret.) (PI), Luke Michaelson (Co-PI).

2014 – 2017 $71,178
“CNG Channel Expression and cAMP Levels in Human B-Cells: A Pilot Study,”
Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Nursing Services Pilot Study Award
Luke Michaelson (PI), Sheila Muldoon (Co-PI), Colonel Susan Perry (Co-PI), Christine Kasper (Co-PI)

2013 – 2014 $75,000
“Pilot Study of Fatigability, and Eccentric Injury Comparison Between Skeletal Muscle of Heavy Metal (Tungsten, Nickel/Cobalt) Imbedded F344 Rats and Non-Heavy Metal Imbedded Rats,”
Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Nursing Services Pilot Study
Luke Michaelson (PI), Christine Kasper (Co-PI)

2009 - 2011 $83,375
Stress Induced Ca 2+ Dysregulation in MDX Mouse Skeletal Muscle Fibers
Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) for Individual Predoctoral Fellows (F31) in Nursing Research
Luke Michaelson (PI), Christopher Ward (PhD Advisor)

2010 - 2011 $3,500/yr
Foundation of the National Student Nurses’ Association, Inc.
Promise of Nursing Regional Faculty Fellowship Program
Luke Michaelson (PI), Christopher Ward (PhD Advisor)

2007 – 2009 $30,000/yr
Department of Health and Human Services Public Health Services Interdisciplinary Training Program in Muscle Biology
(T32) AR007592
Luke Michaelson (Research Assistant)

2006 – 2009 $35,000/yr
Department of Education: Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN) Fellowship
Luke Michaelson (Fellow)

Recent Presentations

September, 2017
Malignant Hyperthermia Association of the United States
RyR1 Pathogenic Variant in an Unpublished Malignant Hyperthermia Case From 1984
Michaelson, L.P., Sambuughin, N.,Voelkel, M., Muldoon, S.M., Szpisjak, D.F.

September, 2017
Malignant Hyperthermia Association of the United States
Comparing Malignant Hyperthermia and Exertional Rhabdomyolysis/Heat Illness: A CHCT and RYR1 Analysis
O. Mungunsukh, O., Michaelson, L.P., Sambuughin, N., Muldoon, S.M., Deuster, P., Voelkel, M., Szpisjak, D.F., O’Connor, F.G., Capacchione, J.F.

April, 2017
Experimental Biology 2017
Recovery from Fatigue and Injury in Rat Muscle Embedded with Heavy Metals
Michaelson, L. P., Lovering, R.M., Tossini, N., Kasper, C.E.

May, 2015
Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences Research Day
Comparison of Skeletal Muscle Eccentric Injury in F344 Rats Embedded With and Without Tungsten Alloy (Tungsten, Nickel, Cobalt)
Michaelson, L., Pratt, S., Lovering, R., Ward, C.W., Kasper, C.E.,

October, 2014
Greater District of Columbia American Physiological Society Meeting
Evaluation of the Cyclic Nucleotide Gated Channel in Human B-lymphocytes From Malignant Hyperthermia Susceptible and Malignant Hyperthermia Non-Susceptible Persons
Michaelson, L., Muldoon, S., Perry, S., Sambuughin N., Kasper, C.E.


Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
Graduate Courses
2016 Malignant Hyperthermia section in RNA 602 Applied Biochemistry for Nurse Anesthetists
2014 Immunology section in GSN 603 Advanced Physiology
2013 Muscle Physiology section in GSN 603 Advanced Physiology
2013 Quantitative Data section in PHD 813 Theoretical Models

University of Maryland School of Nursing

Undergraduate Courses:
2011 - 2013 Renal Physiology and Pathophysiology; Alterations in Fluid and Electrolyte Balance sections in NUR 315 Pathopharmacology

Graduate Courses
2012 - 2013 Membrane Signaling and Special Lipids sections in NUR 616 Biochemistry for Nurse Anesthesia

Representative publications, projects, and/or deployments

Faculty Research Policy Committee Member

Faculty Senate Member

American Association for the Advancement of Science - Member

The American Physiological Society - Member

Biophysical Society - Member

Maryland Nurses Association - Legislative Committee Member

Maryland Nurses Association - Environmental Health Committee (Chairperson)

Adjunct Faculty - University of Maryland School of Nursing

Adjunct Member - Department of Veterans Affairs


Perry, S., Michaelson, L., Bunger, R., Muldoon, S., Kasper, C.E. (accepted for publication) The Effect of Norepinephrine on Intracellular Ca2+ levels in MHS B Cells: Pilot Study in the Search for a New Diagnostic Test for MH. American Association of Nurse Anesthetists Journal.

Michaelson, L., Ward, C., Iler, Colleen. (2013) ROS and RNS signaling in skeletal muscle: critical signals and therapeutic targets. Annual Review of Nursing Research 31(1), 367-387.

Michaelson, L., & Russ, K. (2013). Nurses' Voice and Fracking in Maryland. The Maryland Nurse News and Journal, 14(2), 3-4.

Michaelson, L.P., Shi, G., Ward, C.W., Rodney G.G., (2010). Mitochondrial redox potential during contraction in single intact muscle fibers. Muscle & Nerve. 42(4), 522-529.

Lovering, R.M., Michaelson, L., Ward, C.W., (2009). Malformed mdx myofibers have normal cytoskeletal architecture yet altered EC Coupling and stress-induced Ca2+. American Journal of Physiology – Cell Physiology. 297, 571-580.

Cherednichenko, G., Ward, C., Feng, W., Cabrales, E., Michaelson, L., Samso, M., Lopez, J., Allen, P.D., Pessah, I.N., (2008) Enhanced Excitation-Coupled Calcium Entry (ECCE) in Myotubes Expressing Malignant Hyperthermia Mutation R163C is Attenuated by Dantrolene. Molecular Pharmacology. 73(4), 1203-1212.