Associate Professor Office: R499-03(601) 984-4401
One area of research is focused on understanding the regulation of cytokine inflammatory signaling in the heart and the role of that signaling in cardiac remodeling, specifically left ventricular hypertrophy and heart failure. Two specific questions that the laboratory is currently addressing are whether the intensity and duration of IL-6-type cytokine signaling in cardiac muscle determines the character of the genetic response, and whether there is a difference in its regulation between cardiac muscle and cardiac blood vessels (endothelial cells). My laboratory is also investigating ways to improve the therapeutic utility of hematopoietic stem cells for repairing the injured heart. Stem cell therapy represents an important advance in the prevention and treatment of heart failure due to ischemic heart disease or myocardial infarction. However, hematopoietic stem cell therapy is severely hampered by the poor survivability of these cells in the injured heart, which represents a hostile environment. We are interested in re-engineering hematopoietic stem cells to improve their survivability when placed in the damaged heart.