Current Research and Scholarly Interests
Our lab has several major focuses:
1. The role of the G protein coupled receptors in regulating cardiac function, and specifically mitochondrial structure and function.
2. Differences between right and left ventricular responses to stress and in their modes of failure, including gene expression and miR regulation.
3. Using iPSC-derived myocytes to understand heart failure and congenital heart disease.
4. We develop tools for evaluation of cardiovascular physiology in transgenic and knockout mice and in isolated cardiomyocytes.ce.
Specific projects underway in our lab include:
1. Evaluation of the role of beta1 and beta2 adrenergic receptor subtypes in regulating cardiac structure and function by studying mice with targeted gene disruption of these receptors. Evaluation of the role of crosstalk between beta receptors and other signaling pathways in regulating cardiac structure and function.
2. Role of beta receptors in regulation of mitochondrial structure and function, including processes of mitofusion, mitofission, autophagy and mitophagy.
3. Role of beta receptors in adriamycin cardiotoxicity.
4. Differences between the right and left ventricles in their responses to stresses such as increased afterload and increased preload, including gene expression and gene regulation by micro-RNAs.
5. Using patient-derived iPSC-cardiomyocytes to understand the mechanisms of cardiomyopathies common in children. Evaluation of mitochondrial function in iPSC-CMs and the ability of these cells to recapitulate mitochondrial abnormalities seen in patients with cardiomyopathy. Using iPSC-CMs to understand the mechanisms of heart failure in congenital heart disease, specifically in patients with systemic right ventricles.
6. Development of micro-engineered platforms for assessment of biomechanics of single native or iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes.
We also are interested in clinical cardiac transplantation in children, specifically:
1. Understanding the mechanisms of antibody mediated rejection.
2. Development of biomarkers for the detection and monitoring of post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder in pediatric transplant patients.