Cardiac biology and cardiomyocyte mechanics
The over-riding research theme in our lab is to understand the mechanisms that regulate cardiac sarcomere turnover. The cardiac sarcomere is a complex and highly ordered ensemble of contractile and regulatory proteins designed to generate force. To maintain functional sarcomeres, precise turnover of proteins is required that balances new protein synthesis and incorporation into the sarcomere with removal and degradation of worn out or damaged proteins. Titin is a giant elastic protein, spanning half a sarcomere, and forms the structural a??backbonea?? of the sarcomere; yet, the mechanisms regulating the turnover of titin are completely unknown. The goal of our lab is to use an integrative molecular biology approach to evaluate a number of key aspects in a model we have proposed for titin turnover.
Our lab employs a wide range of experimental techniques in molecular biology, physiology, and bioinformatics. Experimental model systems used in our lab include neonatal and adult cardiomyocytes, isolated Langendorff-perfused hearts, mouse myocardial infarction, and genetically modified mouse models.