The Foster Lab has two primary areas of research:
The Molecular Basis of Mitochondrial Ion Transport and its role in Cardioprotection and Heart Disease
Activation of mitochondrial potassium channels protects the heart from ischemia/reperfusion injury. Yet the channels responsible for this cardioprotection are unidentified. In collaboration with Dr. Brian O'Rourke we are using an interdisciplinary approach to investigate the mechanisms of mitochondrial potassium uptake and efflux.
Myofilament Modifications in Myocardial Stunning
In myocardial stunning following brief ischemia, heart function is impaired despite the absence of necrosis. The lesion likely lies within the myofilaments. Specifically, proteolysis of cardiac troponin I (cTnI) has been implicated in certain animal models of stunning. We have sought to understand how C-terminal truncation of cTnI influences the structure and function of the thin filaments.