Karen Ocorr, Ph.D., Sanford Burnham Prebys Discovery Institute, Biology of Atrial Fibrillation and effects of altered gravity on heart function
February 1 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Karen Ocorr, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Development, Aging and Regeneration Program
Center for Genetic Disorders and Aging Research
Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute
My lab is working to understand the cellular and molecular basis of heart disease. One project is focused on the genetic basis of Atrial Fibrillation. This project is a collaborative one with the lab of Alexandre Colas. We are combining two model systems, the fly in my lab and human induced cardiomyocytes in his lab, to identify AFib genes that have been implicated from patient studies. Another project focuses on the role of metabolism in cardiomyopathies. This is because obesity and metabolic syndrome are linked to an increased risk of heart disease. We are studying the role of a key metabolic signaling molecule in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. A separate effort is focused on the role of gravity in heart function. These studies will provide important information for future habitants of colonies on the moon and Mars. But they are also relevant to patients who are bedridden and to patients with muscle wasting (sarcopenia).