Regulation of myosin gene expression in hypertrophy and in heart development

Doctor's Name: 
Madhu Gupta, PhD
The Heart Institute for Children, Hope Children's Hospital

This is a study to develop a system for modulation or controlling the ability of the cardiac cell to contract appropriately to a given load through gene therapy. Gene therapy consists of enhancing or replacing a specific defective gene, in this instance, the myosin heavy chain gene of muscle cells that shows low level of expression in the failing heart. It offers an advantage over existing pharmacological agents as gene therapy is directed toward the affected organ, and as a result, the other systems remain virtually unaffected. Once the defected gene is replaced, continued therapy is no longer necessary. The existing knowledge in this area is still very rudimentary.

The primary aim of Dr. Gupta's research is to identify and to understand the role played by key regulator molecules within the heart muscle, during normal development of the heart and during conditions of increased work resulting in hypertrophy or enlargement of the heart muscles cells. Dr. Gupta's research has wide applications as numerous congenital heart diseases and defects can result in hypertrophy.

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