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Dr. Robbins is an executive co-director of the Heart Institute. He focuses on modeling human cardiovascular disease, particularly those diseases that result in compromised cardiac function. His lab has established the means to direct the heart to synthesize normal and mutant proteins.
Bidur Bhandary received his PhD in Biomedical Science from the Chonbuk National University, South Korea in 2014. Bidur is working on studying the fibrosis signaling during heart failure in mice model of human disease. His other research interest includes studying role of selective autophagy, and pharmacological targets to alleviate protein aggregate/ misfolding during cardiomyopathy.
James Gulick received his MS in biochemistry and now is a senior scientist operating at a faculty level in the Robbins Lab. He is skilled in all facets of the laboratory's operation and is an important resource person for new people in the lab. He oversees most of the molecular cloning and is the "go-to" person in the lab for day-to-day technical questions and help with the molecular techniques.
Patrick McLendon received his PhD in Biological Chemistry from Virginia Tech in 2009. Patrick’s research is focused on heart failure caused by misfolded protein accumulation (proteotoxicity) in cardiomyocytes, with the goal of finding new avenues to treat heart failure caused by proteotoxicity. He designed a High-throughput screening assay to uncover new effectors of protein aggregation, and his current research is focused on establishing these candidates as legitimate targets in heart failure. His research interests also involve cardiac autophagy, and how this process can be harnessed for cardioprotection.
Qinghang Meng received his PhD in Environmental Genetics and Molecular Toxicology from the University of Cincinnati in 2014. Qinghang is interested in fibroblast-based TGFβ signaling in a sarcomere protein-based cardiomyopathy model. He is also working on investigating roles of proteostasis in cardiovascular diseases.
Dr. Hanna Osinska received her PhD in Poland. Hanna is a world expert in transmission electron microscopy and has also developed a real talent for pushing confocal microscopy to the forefront of the laboratory's experimental repertoire. Dr. Osinska aids the entire lab in applying these powerful imaging tools to understanding the animal models' behaviors at the cell and subcellular levels.
Kritton Shay-Winkler is our animal technician and is responsible for maintaining all of the colonies that support well over 2 million dollars in research. She also has become expert at supporting the histology and pathology methods upon which the lab depends.
Na Xu received her PhD in Genetics from Nanjing University. Na is primarily exploring new gene targets that remove misfolded proteins and aggregates in human inducible pluripotent stem cell differentiated cardiomyocytes using high-throughput RNAi screen. She is also involved in finding the mechanisms underlying intercellular propagation of aggregates.
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