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The O’Rourke Lab uses an integrated approach to study the biophysics and physiology of cardiac cells in normal and diseased states.
Research in our lab has incorporated mitochondrial energetics, Ca2+ dynamics, and electrophysiology to provide tools for studying how defective function of one component of the cell can lead to catastrophic effects on whole cell and whole organ function. By understanding the links between Ca2+, electrical excitability and energy production, we hope to understand the cellular basis of cardiac arrhythmias, ischemia-reperfusion injury, and sudden death.
We use state-of-the-art techniques, including single-channel and whole-cell patch clamp, microfluorimetry, conventional and two-photon fluorescence imaging, and molecular biology to study the structure and function of single proteins to the intact muscle. Experimental results are compared with simulations of computational models in order to understand the findings in the context of the system as a whole....
Ongoing studies in our lab are focused on identifying the specific molecular targets modified by oxidative or ischemic stress and how they affect mitochondrial and whole heart function.
The motivation for all of the work is to understand
• how the molecular details of the heart cell work together to maintain function and
• how the synchronization of the parts can go wrong
Rational strategies can then be devised to correct dysfunction during the progression of disease through a comprehensive understanding of basic mechanisms.
Brian O’Rourke, PhD, is a professor in the Division of Cardiology and Vice Chair of Basic and Translational Research, Department of Medicine, at the Johns Hopkins University. view less
Our research aims to expand the understanding of how hormones regulate pancreatic islets in health and disease.
Currently, a major focus of the lab is to define the normal adaptations of islets, particularly insulin-producing beta-cells, to the metabolic stress of pregnancy, and to determine how defective adaptation contributes to gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM).
We anticipate that elucidating physiologic mechanisms of gestational beta-cell adaptation will identify novel therapeutic strategies to expand functional beta-cell mass which would help in the treatment of all types of diabetes.
Sherita Golden Lab
Research in the Sherita Golden Lab focuses on identifying endocrine risk factors associated with the development of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. We conduct our research by incorporating measures of hormonal function into the design of clinical trials of cardiovascular risk modification, observational studies of incident cardiovascular disease and diabetes, and studies evaluating diabetic complications.
Todd Dorman Lab
Research conducted in the Todd Dorman Lab examines the use of informatics in intensive care settings as it relates to remote patient monitoring, safety and management strategies. Specific areas of interest include the surgical stress response; aminoglycoside antibiotics; fungal infections; renal failure; pharmacokinetic models of drug administration; and ICU triage and its impact on disaster preparedness.
Elevation of O-GlcNAc levels modulates numerous pathways in a manner consistent with increased cell survival, including the expression of heat shock proteins. The Zachara Lab's goal is to understand the O-GlcNAc regulated stress response, how this can be manipulated to improve patient outcome and how this response is misregulated in disease.