Job Description

About the Lab:

My laboratory is interested in understanding the mechanisms that contribute to the development of heart disease.

The heart functions as a pump that cycles between contraction and relaxation in order to provide nutrients and oxygen and remove waste from all organs. Multiple risk factors are known to cause malfunctions of the heart, including diabetes, obesity, aging and ischemic heart disease (heart attack). Our lab focuses on how metabolic disorders, specifically diabetes, lead to these malfunctions. We induce diabetes in mice and measure contraction and relaxation functions with ultrasound to trace what goes awry in diabetic hearts.

A number of theories have been proposed on how metabolic disorders contribute to the development of heart disease. We focus on an emerging area of research centered on a molecule called NAD+. NAD+ is a crucial part of our cellular metabolism and acts as a moderator of metabolic processes. For example, as cells break down sugar and fat for energy, NAD+ is a critical facilitator for the flow of these metabolic processes.

Studies from the past decade have started to expand our understanding on how this molecule regulates other cellular processes and, ultimately, contributes to heart disease.

NAD+-dependent pathways have emerged as promising therapeutic targets in multiple diseases. Our goal is to identify novel NAD+-dependent mechanisms that contribute to the pathogenesis of heart disease. We hope that our studies will result in improved treatment options for patients to slow, reduce or even prevent disease progression.

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