Shannon Jay Odelberg, PhD

Research Interests

  • Identification of the genes that regulate newt and mammalian cells


  • English

Academic Information

  • Departments: Internal Medicine - Research Associate Professor, Neurobiology & Anatomy - Adjunct Assistant Professor
  • Divisions: Cardiovascular Medicine

Academic Office Information

  • 801-581-7150
  • Maxwell M. Wintrobe Research and Education Building
    26 N Medical Dr, Room: 331
    Salt Lake City, UT 84132


Academic Bio

Shannon Odelberg, PhD, is a research assistant professor in the Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Cardiology, an investigator in the Molecular Medicine Program, and an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy at the University of Utah School of Medicine.

Odelberg has studied the cellular and molecular basis of regeneration for the past 16 years. Most of this work has focused on using the newt as an experimental model of regeneration. Adult newts can regenerate many body parts and tissues, including their limbs, tail, spinal cord, parts of the brain, lenses, retinas, optic nerves, upper and lower jaws, and heart ventricles. These regenerative processes are dependent upon an extraordinary degree of cellular plasticity where specialized cells revert to a less specialized form, proliferate, and then respecialize into fully functioning cells that compose the regenerated structure or tissue. He has focused primarily on limb, spinal cord, and heart regeneration and has shown that the loss of a body part or a severe injury to an organ causes changes in gene expression that lead to alterations in the cellular environment immediately surrounding the cells located near the injury site. These changes in the immediate environment of the cell can induce the cellular responses that are critical for regeneration.

Recently, Odelberg has begun to focus on signaling pathways that control growth and metastasis in tumor cells, especially melanoma and glioblastoma cells. He and his colleagues have identified a new pathway that promotes invasion and metastasis in melanoma. This discovery offers a new molecular target for developing therapies to fight cancer metastasis.

Odelberg completed his PhD in molecular genetics and pathology at the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond, Virginia. Following a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Utah, he joined the faculty of the Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Cardiology.

Education History

Type School Degree
Postdoctoral Fellowship University of Utah
Molecular Genetics
Postdoctoral Fellow
Doctoral Training Virginia Commonwealth University
Molecular Genetics/Pathology
Graduate Training Virginia Commonwealth University
Undergraduate Weber State College
Chemistry and Criminalistics