Stacey Rentschler, MD, PhD

Associate Professor of Medicine

Washington University in St. Louis (WU)

The focus of the Rentschler lab is to understand the transcriptional and epigenetic regulation of cardiac electrophysiology in murine and human model systems. Reactivation of developmental signaling pathways including Notch and Wnt can electrically remodel cardiomyocytes, or “reprogram” them, to adopt a new electrical phenotype in animal models. We developed methodology for culturing organotypic cardiac slices from atria and ventricles from explanted human donor hearts rejected from transplantation. Functional readouts include optical mapping with voltage-sensitive dyes and microelectrode recordings to assess changes in cellular physiology. We perform genome-wide gene expression and epigenetic studies on mouse and human cardiac tissue to decipher the complex regulatory mechanisms that govern expression of regulators of electrophysiology in both health and disease. This methodology will allow us to test the response of human cardiac tissue to selected therapeutics with the goal of expediting new therapeutics.