Category: Site Parnassus


Michael J Mann, M.D.

Mann

Research Interests:
1. Molecular/cellular biology and molecular genetics of atherosclerosis and heart failure. 2. Development of hybrid surgical and molecular/cellular therapies for heart disease. 3. Stem and progenitor cell transplantation for cardiovascular regeneration. 4. Cardiovascular tissue engineering. 5. Reduction to clinical practice of current methods in genetic, molecular and cellular disease intervention. 6. Novel targeted molecular therapies for lung cancer. 7. Molecular profiling of cancers for personalized medicine. 8. Development of novel methods of in vivo/ex vivo gene therapy and gene transfer. 9. Novel approaches to therapeutic neovascularization for coronary and peripheral ischemic disease. 10. Cardiovascular cell cycle biology. 11. Myocardial gene therapy.

Summary:
Dr. Mann’s research focuses on the molecular and cellular biology of heart disease with an emphasis on practical ways to develop new treatments for heart failure. These involve potential gene and molecular therapies, combinations of molecular and cell-based treatments with surgical reconstruction, and evaluation of novel materials for the development of bioartificial replacements of lost or damaged heart tissue.

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Wendell A Lim, Ph.D.

Lim

Research Interests:
Signal transduction, synthetic biology, systems biology, structural biology, protein-protein interactions, cell motility, MAP kinase cascades, GTPase pathways

Summary:
Wendell Lim’s Lab is working on creating a detailed instruction manual – a sort of user’s guide – that explains how biochemical circuits control a cell’s function and ultimately its fate. The long-term goal is to use the instruction manual to help scientists design cells to deliver therapeutic payloads, repair cancerous lesions, or attack microscopic pathogens. Cells are complex mechanical and sensing devices that can carry out highly complex tasks, such as secreting antibodies or forming repair structures like blood clots and bone. Cells contain signaling pathways that take in and integrate vast amounts of information about the cells’ environment, and they process and use this information to make complex decisions about how to respond to changing environmental conditions. If more is understood about how these processes work, there is the potential to change cells and help solve problems in biotechnology or health, and to treat disease more rationally.

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Randall J Lee, M.D., Ph.D.

Lee

Research Interests:
Arrhythmias, radiofrequency catheter ablation, implantable cardioverter/defibrillators, genetics, gene therapy, tissue engineering, stem cells, cell transplantation, biopolymers, antibodies, myocardial reconstruction/regeneration

Summary:
The research program integrates the disciplines of cell biology, bioengineering and cardiology. A tissue engineering approach is being used to investigate the potential application of cardiovascular reconstruction/regeneration. The use of stem cells and engineered polymer scaffolds are being investigated in heart attach models to determine their usefulness and safety in repairing damaged heart tissue.

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Stephen C Lazarus, M.D.

Lazarus

Research Interests:
Role of inflammation in asthma and COPD, mucus hypersecretion.

Summary:
Asthma affects 5-10% of the US population, and deaths from asthma have increased for several decades. COPD is the 4th leading cause of death in the US. Understanding the mechanisms involved in these diseases and how best to treat them will contribute to better outcomes.

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Laura L Koth, M.D.

KOTH_image

Research Interests:
Sarcoidosis Granulomatous Lung Diseases T cells Monocytes chemokines

Summary:
Dr. Koth’s research program is structured around the study of samples from human research studies. With the breath of research techniques that can be applied to human samples to learn about disease, Dr. Koth is taking a direct approach in the study of lung diseases. Dr. Koth’s current focus involves understanding the inflammatory disease called sarcoidosis. This is not a disease as common as asthma, but it affects both young and middle aged people and causes significant morbidity and mortality. More awareness and funds are needed if we hope to understand the complicated biology of the disease. For example, many of the main immune subsets of the body are abnormally regulated in this disease. Most research has focused on the traditional T-cell. For example, it is thought that specific T cells are very activated and making inflammatory products which are contributing to and continuing the disease. However there are other immune cells that have not been studied adequately. Dr. Koth’s lab has taken an active interest in these other types of immune cells. One reason for this is that we have identified, using Genomics research, that specific transcripts in the blood actually predict whether a specific patient will have progressive disease or not. She and her lab are now pursuing a line of investigation to understand where this ‘biomarker message’ is coming from in order to be able to stop it.

Dr. Koth’s lab is also interested in using state-of-the-art technology to think about new therapies for this disease. We are looking into cutting-edge translational methods of expanding a type of immune cell responsible for down regulating the inflammatory process of the body. To perform these experiments in clinical trials will require significant financial support and we are seeking this input in order to move this very exciting potential treatment forward. The other aspect of my research program includes the development of a ‘center of excellence in sarcoidosis’. This program will be designed to include both excellence in clinical care and novel clinical studies. Developing clinical care standards is an important area in managing sarcoidosis patients since sarcoidosis is a chronic disease that may be active for 10-20 years or more. Thus, a full-service clinical care program would facilitate the creation of clinical management tools and treatment regimens (developed as products from clinical trials networks) to address three arms of care in sarcoidosis: 1) organ damage, 2) symptom control, and 3) psychosocial aspects of living with the disease.

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Yuet W Kan, M.D. , D.Sc.

Kan

Research Interests:
The mechanisms of globin production and exploring novel ways of inserting genes into mammalian cells; investigating newer approaches for fetal diagnosis of genetic disorders

Summary:
Sickle cell anemia and thalassemia are the most common genetic diseases and affect people of African, Mediterranean, Middle Ease and Southeast Asian origins. Our laboratory has pioneered the diagnosis of these conditions by DNA tests and is currently investigating the use of patient specific stem cells for their treatment.

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Lily Y Jan, B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D.

 

Jan3

Research Interests:
Studies of potassium channels

Summary:
Ion channels such as potassium channels and calcium-activated chloride channels are important for the function of the heart, lung, and vasculature. Starting with molecular characterizations of the channel proteins, we try to understand how these channels work and how their activities are regulated under various physiological conditions

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Julien I Hoffman, M.D., F.R.C.P.

Research Interests:
Pathophysiology of myocardial ischemia

Summary:
My research investigates the way in which the complex muscular architecture of the human heart functions, and what role different components play in heart failure. Current hypotheses of ventricular architecture emphasize the interaction of spiral and circumferential muscle layers, but one major hypothesis that there is a single folded muscular band is much in dispute. We know that the adult pattern is already complete at 14 weeks gestation, but there is no information about how the primitive cardiac tube becomes this complex multilayered structure. My colleagues and I have shown that different components of this muscle band may be affected in diastolic heart failure, and are seeking further information about how components of the band arise and how each component may be affected by disease.

I have ongoing research into the epidemiology of congenital heart disease but no specific problems are being studied at the moment.
Most of my previous research involved the control of the regional coronary circulation, with particular reference to the mechanisms of subendocardial ischemia. Although I am not actively working in this field now, I am collaborating with some bioengineers who are studying these problems.

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Michael Gropper, M.D., Ph.D.

Gropper

Research Interests:
Transfusion related acute lung injury, acute respiratory failure, acute respiratory distress syndrome, sepsis, ventilator associated pneumonia, resuscitation, mechanical ventilation, critical care outcomes

Summary:
My research interests are all focused on improving outcomes in critically ill patients in the ICU. These interests range from basic scientific questions regarding the mechanisms of harm from blood transfusions to asking about whether we efficiently utilize our precious resources, particularly at the end of life.

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Stanton A Glantz, Ph.D.

Glantz

Research Interests:
Mechanics of cardiac function (experimental and theoretical); environmental tobacco smoke and tobacco control policy

Summary:
Dr Glantz studies the effectiveness of different tobacco control strategies, particularly in the context of large state-run tobacco control programs, how the tobacco industry works to systematically distort the scientific process and animal and human studies of the effects of passive smoking on the heart.

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David G Gardner, M.D.

Gardner

Research Interests:
Cardiovascular endocrinology, natriuretic peptides, natriuretic peptide receptors, vitamin D, nuclear hormone receptors, growth and hypertrophy in cardiovascular system and kidney, obesity-related cardiomyopathy.

Summary:
Our laboratory is interested in understanding the role that hormones play in the control of growth and function in the cardiovascular system (heart and blood vessels). We are particularly interested in vitamin D and the natriuretic peptide hormones, two classes of hormones that have beneficial effects on cardiovascular function.

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