My research program’s goals delve into examining and manipulating molecular regulatory mechanisms in heart development and disease. Several years of our research work shows that regulatory hierarchies necessary for development of cardiac muscle, valves and fibroblasts also play a part in heart disease. My colleagues and I have put forward great effort and devotion toward analyzing the molecular and cellular mechanisms of valve development, muscle cell maturation and fibroblast lineages in normal and diseased hearts.
We have used mouse, avian, porcine and human systems to study regulatory mechanisms in heart development and disease in children and adults. Our research led us to discover that the regulatory mechanisms controlling maturation of heart muscle, valves and fibroblasts in the developing heart also contribute to adult cardiovascular disease.
My main research objective is to uncover heart disease processes by merging studies on the regulatory pathways that operate normal heart development with studies on the molecular development of disease in animal models and human explanted tissue. Our long-term goal is to find new therapeutic targets to treat heart disease.
I first became interested in the formation and function of the heart when studying chicken embryonic development. Over the years, we and others have found striking similarities in how the heart originally develops with how cardiac repair and disease progression arises in pediatric and adult heart disease.
My research has found critical roles for developmental regulatory programs in heart valve disease, cardiac fibrosis and heart failure. Furthermore, my colleagues and I have shown that both pediatric and adult cardiac disease are categorized by reactivating developmental gene regulatory programs. Most recently, our research has found that macrophages are a possible cause for heart valve degeneration in Marfan syndrome-related congenital mitral valve disease.
One of my main tasks as a principal research scientist is to mentor the trainees in my lab. Over the past 20 years, I have trained over 20 pre-doctoral and post-doctoral trainees to develop their research and careers. These trainees have gone on to become senior scientists in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries and gain faculty positions in academic research.
I began working at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in 1995 and have more than 30 years of experience in my field. My research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the American Heart Association.
Awards and recognition:
BA: Oberlin College, Oberlin, OH, 1986.
PhD: Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN,1992
Fellowship: Cornell University Medical College, New York, NY,1992-1995.
Molecular Cardiovascular Biology, Heart, Fibrosis
Scar Formation with Decreased Cardiac Function Following Ischemia/Reperfusion Injury in 1 Month Old Swine. Journal of Cardiovascular Development and Disease. 2020; 7.
Deficiency of Circulating Monocytes Ameliorates the Progression of Myxomatous Valve Degeneration in Marfan Syndrome. Circulation. 2020; 141:132-146.
Calcification and extracellular matrix dysregulation in human postmortem and surgical aortic valves. Heart. 2019; 105:1616-1621.
Postnatal Cardiac Development and Regenerative Potential in Large Mammals. Pediatric Cardiology. 2019; 40:1345-1358.
Cardiac Fibroblasts and the Extracellular Matrix in Regenerative and Nonregenerative Hearts. Journal of Cardiovascular Development and Disease. 2019; 6.
Maturation of heart valve cell populations during postnatal remodeling. Development (Cambridge). 2019; 146.
Endothelial Cell Lineage Analysis Does Not Provide Evidence for EMT in Adult Valve Homeostasis and Disease. Anatomical Record. 2019; 302:125-135.
Macrophage Transitions in Heart Valve Development and Myxomatous Valve Disease. Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology. 2018; 38:636-644.
Loss of β-catenin in resident cardiac fibroblasts attenuates fibrosis induced by pressure overload in mice. Nature Communications. 2017; 8.
Loss of Axin2 results in impaired heart valve maturation and subsequent myxomatous valve disease. Cardiovascular Research. 2017; 113:40-51.
Katherine Yutzey, PhD1/14/2020
Katherine Yutzey, PhD6/30/2019
Katherine Yutzey, PhD6/28/2019