Every heart beat requires a carefully controlled calcium signal to trigger contraction. Based on cellular studies, the cardiac ryanodine receptor is considered to play a dominant role in this process, but the absolute necessity of this massive protein has not been formally tested in vivo. Moreover, it is not known whether the ryanodine receptor controls other events and functions in the heart in parallel to its effects on contraction. Our lab studies how calcium signalling controls multiple cellular functions, including gene expression and the regulation of programmed cell death. We have generated a line drug-inducible, heart-specific ryanodine receptor knockout mice where this gene can be selectively deleted in adult cardiomyocytes. We have at our disposal a variety of approaches from single-cell imaging to whole animal physiology which which to test a number of hypotheses related to the ryanodine receptor. We collaborate with a number of cardiovascular research laboratories in Vancouver and elsewhere to perform multi-disciplinary studies.