Gerald W. Dorn, MD

Philip and Sima K Needleman Professor of Medicine

Washington University in St. Louis (WU)

The general theme of the Dorn laboratory revolves around how neurohormonal stimulation of the heart contributes to development of cardiac hypertrophy and its progression to heart failure. Our team uses cell and molecular biology platforms to address mechanistic questions relating to receptor-effector coupling, genetically manipulated mice to define functional relevance of signaling pathways in the integrated cardiovascular system, and human genomics that bridge the bench and bedside. Current translational projects investigate how adrenergic receptor desensitization by G-protein receptor kinases affects the stressed or failing heart, and how regulated expression of cardiac microRNAs compensates for myocardial disease. Basic investigations examine novel mechanisms of apoptotic and non-apoptotic programmed cell death by Bcl2-family proteins, and how cardiac injury is mediated by calpain-mediated proteolytic processing of protein kinase C. The laboratory has special expertise in genetic manipulation of mouse hearts using conditional gene ablation and overexpression approaches, and in microsurgical modeling and analytical techniques.