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Cardiac Biology and Mechanotransduction

The Ashley Lab is interested in a broad range of cardiac biology questions, from calcium handling in disease to how mutated structural proteins affect contractile phenotypes. Our questions often stem from the discovery of novel disease-associated mutations in the clinic which we then follow up in animal and cell models. Many of our projects involve induced pluripotent stem cell derived cardiomyocytes, which allow us to examine disease and test therapies in a patient’s own genetic background. Our close collaborations with labs in the mechanical engineering department additionally allow us to use and develop new methods of phenotyping in single cardiomyocytes. We also harness the power of long read sequencing to examine the RNA landscape of disease and ask how newly discovered disease-causing mutations fit into larger disease haplotypes. We are furthermore interested in interrogating undiscovered mutations, using mutagenesis techniques to create and test all possible mutations in a number of cardiac-disease associated genes. While diverse, all of our projects aim to interrogate disease at a basic biology level in order to make new discoveries that can be brought back to the clinic and improve patients lives.

Spontaneously beating induced pluripotent stem cell derived cardiomyocytes.