CARDIAC MUSCLE SOCIETY

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CMS Early Career Committee

Mission : Promote early career advancement for individuals focusing on cardiac muscle physiology

Aims : 

1. Provide coordinated training to foster the development of trainees and early career individuals in the field of cardiac muscle physiology research

2. Promote collaborations and networking with established investigators in the field of cardiac muscle physiology research

3. Facilitate the dissemination of information for scientific advancement and career opportunities

Current activities : Early Career Presentations at the Annual CMS Meeting

Chair - Michelle Parvatiyar, PhD


Assistant Professor 
Nutrition, Food and Exercise Sciences
Florida State University 
Tallahassee, FL 32306


Dr. Parvatiyar received her Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the University of Miami School of Medicine under the mentorship of Dr. James D. Potter and her postdoctoral studies at UCLA. Dr. Parvatiyar received diverse training ranging from understanding regulation of the sarcomere to studying sarcolemma proteins in Duchenne muscular dystrophy. In 2018, Dr. Parvatiyar joined Florida State University as an Assistant Professor and her independent research program is centered on investigating how sarcolemma remodeling impacts cardiac function. Her research goals include protection of the cardiac sarcolemma as well as investigating the primary inflammatory triggers that instigate acute or chronic cardiac dysfunction after cell integrity is breached. 


Website: https://humansciences.fsu.edu/nutrition-food-exercise-sciences/faculty-staff/parvatiyar/ 
Email: mparvatiyar@fsu.edu


Vice Chair - Brett Colson, PhD


Assistant Professor 
Department of Cell and Molecular Medicine 
University of Arizona 
Tuscon, AZ


Dr. Colson is Assistant Professor of Cellular and Molecular Medicine at the University of Arizona. He earned his B.S. in Molecular Biology in 2004, and M.S./PhD in Physiology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, working with Professor Richard Moss through 2009. His thesis work used X-ray diffraction to study myocardial cross-bridge regulation by myosin-binding protein C. Dr. Colson pursued postdoctoral studies in biochemistry and biophysics working with Prof. David Thomas at the University of Minnesota, where he developed spectroscopic approaches for probing actin-myosin structural dynamics. At Arizona, Colson continues his focus on the molecular basis of contraction in healthy and diseased hearts.


Website: http://cmm.arizona.edu/profile/brett-colson-phd-0 
Email: bcolson@email.arizona.edu


Members :

Dave Barefield, PhD


Assistant Professor

Department of Cell and Molecular Physiology

Loyola University Chicago

Maywood, IL


Dr. Dave Barefield is an Assistant Professor at Loyola University Chicago. Dave received his PhD at Loyola University Chicago under the mentorship of Sakthivel Sadayappan, PhD, and did his postdoctoral training at Northwestern University in the lab of Elizabeth McNally, MD, PhD. His research interests have focused on myofilament function in genetic cardiomyopathies, and particularly the effect of environmental and genetic modifiers on the progression and severity of these disorders. The Barefield Lab opened at Loyola University Chicago in May 2020 and focuses on atrial myopathies and the roll of atrial dysfunction in common forms of cardiovascular disease.


Website: http://barefieldlab.org

Email: dbarefield@luc.edu



Matthew A. Caporizzo, PhD

Research Associate 
Department of Physiology 
University of Pennsylvania 
Philadelphia, PA


Dr. Caporizzo is interested in the mechanical feedback driving cardiac remodeling, with a focus on the factors that control myocardial viscoelasticity and their impact in regulating cardiac systolic and diastolic performance.  Harnessing a background in engineering, Dr. Caporizzo’s research integrates multiscale mechanical testing techniques with sub-diffraction microscopy to visualize the deformation of extracellular and cytoskeletal structures during mechanical loading.  His research aims to decipher the molecular regulators of cardiac mechanical changes and develop strategies to reverse pathological remodeling.


Swati Dey, PhD


Assistant Professor

Department of Clinical Pharmacology Division/Medicine

Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Nashville, TN


Sudden cardiac death (SCD) claims more lives each year than all other causes of death combined. The underlying mechanisms remain unclear, precluding the design of new more effective therapies. Dr. Dey's ongoing research aims to understand the mechanistic role of oxidative tree and autonomic dysfunction, leading to SCD. The innovations of her research program lie in (1) Establishing a highly clinically relevant animal model of non-ischemic heart failure with spontaneous arrhythmic death; (2) sophisticated new tools for quantifying ROS dynamics in subcellular microdomains; (3) Cutting edge technology for integrative studies of single neurons and cardiac myocytes that then translate to the whole heart and animal; (4) designing new tools for minimally invasive video gene therapy to transform cardiac sympathetic nerve properties to modulate cardiac oxidative stress and function. Dr. Dey trained with Dr. Brain O'Rourke at Johns Hopkins University, where she dissected the mechanistic role of mitochondrial bioenergetics and oxidative stress in both the pathogenesis and potential therapy of SCD. She joined Vanderbilt University Medical Center as a tenure track Assistant Professor in 2019. 


Email: swati.dey@vumc.org


Shubha Gururaja Rao, PhD

Assistant Professor of Pharmacology
Ohio Northern University
Ada, OH


Dr. Gururaja Rao is a cell biologist and geneticist with a focus on molecular mechanism involved in cancer-cardiology axis with respect to heart failure. Dr. Gururaja Rao received her Ph.D. from the University of Edinburgh, UK under the mentorship of Prof. Margarete Heck, and established the role of a metalloproatease, Invadolysin, in regulation of chromatin structure and function. She the obtained her postdoctoral training at the University of California, Los Angeles under Prof. Utpal Banerjee and she discovered role of unique mitochondrial signaling in cancer.  Currently, her group is focused on studying the role of ion channels in muscle pathophysiology during aging, cancer and heart failure. She uses experimental models ranging from Drosophila to human tissues. 


Email: s-gururajarao@onu.edu


Christopher N. Johnson, PhD
Research Instructor 
Department of Medicine 
Vanderbilt University Medical Center 
Nashville, TN

Dr. Johnson is a structural biologist that utilizes a multi-disciplinary approach to understand calcium regulatory processes in the heart. His work combines structural biology, biophysics and electrophysiology in order to understand how the intra-cellular calcium sensing protein “Calmodulin" transduces changes in calcium concentration into protein-protein interactions and how these events influence or regulate the cardiac excitation contraction cycle. Dr. Johnson joined the Vanderbilt Faculty as a Research Instructor in Medicine the summer of 2016.

Website : https://medicine.mc.vanderbilt.edu/person/Christopher-Johnson 
Email : cn.johnson@vanderbilt.edu



Sumita Mishra, PhD


Division of Cardiology

Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Baltimore, Maryland


Epidemiological studies have shown an increased association between obesity and the diagnosis of Heart Failure with Preserved Ejection Fraction (HFpEF). HFpEF accounts for about half of all heart failure cases in USA and worldwide. There is no effective evidence-based therapy against it. Dr. Mishra’s research is focused on elucidating the mechanisms and targeting the key regulators of cardiac dysfunction in HFpEF and associated cardiometabolic disorders.

She is a faculty at the Division of Cardiology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, working with Dr. David Kass. By using multidisciplinary approaches and developing relevant preclinical models that capture features of hemodynamic and metabolic stress seen in HFpEF patients, Dr. Mishra is testing novel ways to stimulate cGMP/PKG signaling as a potential approach for HFpEF treatment. She is also working towards deciphering novel mechanisms by which myocardial lipid overload effects cardiac mechanotransduction and the upstream mechanisms that alters mitochondrial dynamics in the development of cardiometabolic diseases. 


Website: https://www.kasslab.johnshopkins.edu/phosphodiesterase-inhibitors

Email: smishr12@jhmi.edu



Mary Papadaki, PhD


Kirk Lab

Cell and Molecular Physiology

Loyola University Chicago, Maywood

Chicago, Illinois


Mary completed her PhD at Imperial College London under the supervision of Prof Steve Marston, where she studied molecular mechanisms of inherited cardiomyopathies. She is currently a Research Assistant Professor at Loyola University Chicago and her research focuses on the interface between diabetes and cardiac function. More specifically, she is trying to understand how diabetes affects cardiac contractility through post-translational modifications and signaling pathways. Outside of science, Mary loves to run, ski, cook, and relax at the beach.


Email: mpapadaki@luc.edu



Michael J. Previs, PhD

Assistant Professor 
Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics 
University of Vermont 
Burlington, VT


Muscle is a soft tissue found throughout the body that responds to internal cues by producing force and generating motion through cellular contraction. These contractions results from the cyclic interaction of tiny molecular motors, named myosin, with filamentous actin. Dr. Previs’s lab is focused on understanding the molecular mechanisms that regulate these interactions in both human health and diverse forms of cardiac diseases, such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Using a combination of single molecule microscopy, mass spectrometry and transgenic techniques to directly probe these mechanisms at the molecular level we hope to provide targets for therapeutic interventions.


Website: http://physioweb.uvm.edu/faculty-profile/?user=Michael_Previs 
Email: mprevis@uvm.edu


Christopher Toepfer, PhD


'Sir Henry Wellcome Fellow of the Wellcome Trust and Oxford BHF CRE Intermediate Transition Fellow 

Department of Cardiovascular Medicine

University of Oxford

Oxford, UK


Chris completed his PhD at Imperial College London under the supervision of Professor Michael Ferenczi and Dr. James Sellers (NHLBI, NIH). Studying cardiac muscle regulation in health and disease. He subsequently began a Post-doc with the support of a Sir Henry Wellcome Post-Doctoral Fellowship with Professors Christine and Jonathan Seidman at Harvard Medical School and Professor Hugh Watkins at the RDM Oxford.

Chris is currently supported by a British Heart Foundation Centre of Research Excellence (CRE) Intermediate Transition Fellowship In Oxford. Chris’s group focuses on investigating the role of thick filament variants in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). His laboratory focuses on CRISPR/Cas-9 engineering of human induced pluripotent stem cells. These cells can be differentiated into cardiomyocytes, which are used to model human heart disease in a dish.


Early Career Committee Alumni

Maegen Ackermann Borzok, PhD

Mansfield University of Pennsylvania

Charles S Chung, PhD

Wayne State University

Jennifer Davis, PhD

University of Washington

Deeptankar DeMazumder, MD, PhD

University of Cincinnati

Jonathan Kirk, PhD

Loyola University


Benjamin Prosser, PhD

University of Pennsylvania


The Cardiac Muscle Society was established in the 1960’s to promote the interactions between basic and clinical cardiovascular investigators. Members meet annually, exchange their latest discoveries and exchange ideas on future cardiovascular research.

231 Albert Sabin Way, Room 4978

Cincinnati, Ohio, 45267

Phone: (513) 558-7442

Email: martila@ucmail.uc.edu

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