A photo of Jeffery Molkentin.

Director, Division of Molecular Cardiovascular Biology

Co-Director, Heart Institute

Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics



Biography & Affiliation


I enjoy all areas of science but eventually focused on biological medical research. I find science fascinating and was always drawn to biomedical research. At Cincinnati Children’s — where I lead the Division of Molecular Cardiovascular Biology — I look for new molecular mechanisms of disease that might lead to new treatments.

My research interests include heart disease, muscular dystrophy, tissue fibrosis, calcium handling, ER stress signaling, cardiac hypertrophic signaling pathways and COVID-19 disease mechanisms.

Our laboratory has made significant contributions to the area of stem cell therapy for the heart. We have shown that presumed adult stem cells do not regenerate the heart. Instead, direct injection of these cells into the injured heart has a protective effect by altering the innate immune response and the activity of healing macrophages.

I have been a full investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute since 2008. For my work, I have been awarded the Basic Research Prize from the American Heart Association.

I take great pride in helping young scientists who wish to pursue careers in biomedical research. Dozens of my past trainees have gone on to principle investigator roles at academic institutions.

Academic Affiliation

Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics

Research Divisions

Heart, Fibrosis, Molecular Cardiovascular Biology

Blog Posts

Cincinnati Children’s Launches 6 COVID-19 Research Projects

Infectious Diseases and Vaccines

Cincinnati Children’s Launches 6 COVID-19 Research Projects

Jeffery D. Molkentin, PhD, Ming Tan, PhD ...5/26/2020

Robbins Retires, Molkentin Named Director of Molecular Cardiovascular Biology

Heart and Lung

Robbins Retires, Molkentin Named Director of Molecular Cardiovascular Biology

Jeffery D. Molkentin, PhD6/30/2019

A Study That Changed the Direction of Cardiac Stem Cell Research

Heart and Lung

A Study That Changed the Direction of Cardiac Stem Cell Research

Jeffery D. Molkentin, PhD6/27/2019


BS: Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI, 1989.

PhD: Medical College of Wisconsin, 1994.


Selected Publication

MCUb Induction Protects the Heart From Postischemic Remodeling. Huo, J; Lu, S; Kwong, JQ; Bround, MJ; Grimes, KM; Sargent, MA; Brown, ME; Davis, ME; Bers, DM; Molkentin, JD. Circulation Research. 2020; 127:379-390.

Cardiac Cell Therapy Rejuvenates the Infarcted Rodent Heart via Direct Injection but Not by Vascular Infusion. Vagnozzi, RJ; Sargent, MA; Molkentin, JD. Circulation. 2020; 141:1037-1039.

An acute immune response underlies the benefit of cardiac stem cell therapy. Vagnozzi, RJ; Maillet, M; Sargent, MA; Khalil, H; Johansen, AK Z; Schwanekamp, JA; York, AJ; Huang, V; Nahrendorf, M; Sadayappan, S; et al. Nature: New biology. 2020; 577:405-409.

Overlapping and differential functions of ATF6α versus ATF6β in the mouse heart. Correll, RN; Grimes, KM; Prasad, V; Lynch, JM; Khalil, H; Molkentin, JD. Scientific Reports. 2019; 9.

Thrombospondin-3 augments injury-induced cardiomyopathy by intracellular integrin inhibition and sarcolemmal instability. Schips, TG; Vanhoutte, D; Vo, A; Correll, RN; Brody, MJ; Khalil, H; Karch, J; Tjondrokoesoemo, A; Sargent, MA; Maillet, M; et al. Nature Communications. 2019; 10.

Inhibition of mitochondrial permeability transition by deletion of the ANT family and CypD. Karch, J; Bround, MJ; Khalil, H; Sargent, MA; Latchman, N; Terada, N; Peixoto, PM; Molkentin, JD. Science advances. 2019; 5.

Cell-specific ablation of Hsp47 defines the collagen-producing cells in the injured heart. Khalil, H; Kanisicak, O; Vagnozzi, RJ; Johansen, AK; Maliken, BD; Prasad, V; Boyer, JG; Brody, MJ; Schips, T; Kilian, KK; et al. JCI insight. 2019; 4.

Disruption of valosin-containing protein activity causes cardiomyopathy and reveals pleiotropic functions in cardiac homeostasis. Brody, MJ; Vanhoutte, D; Bakshi, CV; Liu, R; Correll, RN; Sargent, MA; Molkentin, JD. Journal of Biological Chemistry. 2019; 294:8918-8929.

ERK1/2 signaling induces skeletal muscle slow fiber-type switching and reduces muscular dystrophy disease severity. Boyer, JG; Prasad, V; Song, T; Lee, D; Fu, X; Grimes, KM; Sargent, MA; Sadayappan, S; Molkentin, JD. JCI insight. 2019; 5.

Genetic Lineage Tracing of Sca-1+ Cells Reveals Endothelial but Not Myogenic Contribution to the Murine Heart. Vagnozzi, RJ; Sargent, MA; Lin, SJ; Palpant, NJ; Murry, CE; Molkentin, JD. Circulation. 2018; 138:2931-2939.