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. 

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Vice - Chair  Jonathan Kirk, PhD
Assistant Professor 
Department of Cell and Molecular Physiology 
Loyola University 
Chicago, IL

Jonathan Kirk received his Ph.D. in Bioengineering from University of Pittsburgh under the mentorship of Dr. Sanjeev Shroff and performed his post-doctoral fellowship at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine with Dr. David Kass. Dr. Kirk is now an Assistant Professor in Cell and Molecular Physiology at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. His lab studies the biophysical properties and molecular signaling that occurs in cardiovascular disease, specifically focusing on the myofilament, the molecular motor of the heart.

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Members :

Maegen Ackermann Borzok, Ph.D

Assistant Professor 
Department of Chemistry and Physics 
Mansfield University of Pennsylvania
Mansfield, PA 

Dr. Ackermann-Borzok’s research program focuses on cytoskeletal elements of cardiac muscle necessary to maintain beat-to-beat synchrony and normal myocyte coupling. The goals of our research are threefold: 1. to define novel mechanisms of cardiac arrhythmias, 2. to understand the link between structural proteins and cardiac electrical defects, and 3. to define novel signaling mechanisms linking cytoskeletal proteins and ion channel dysfunction. These goals are accomplished through the characterization of novel proteins and investigation of known proteins with novel functions. 

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Charles S Chung, PhD
Assistant Professor 
Department of Physiology 
Wayne State University 
Detroit, MI

Dr. Chung’s research focuses on cardiac mechanics and structure, with a special emphasis on diastolic function. The goal of this work is to find novel and clinically-relevant diagnostic indexes or treatment targets by integrating protein, cellular, multicellular, organ, and in vivo function data with computational and kinematic modeling.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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


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