Our Research Mission

Current scientific work in our laboratory

Overall research focus in our laboratory is to study the mechanisms of cardiovascular diseases and develop novel therapeutic strategies to limit the disease and promote regeneration and repair. We aspire to achieve our research goals through Curiosity, Creativity and Collaborations.

On-going research work in the lab:

1. Basic mechanism of cardiac remodeling and structural alterations during stress or injury

2. Mental health and its influence on heart disease

3. Exosome role in cardiac disease and therapy

4. Diabetes and its risk for cardiovascular disease

5. Cardiovascular injury during sepsis/endotoxemia

6. Organ fibrosis project- lung fibrosis, cardiac fibrosis and scleroderma

Specific research areas include: 

mRNA stability, epigenetics, inflammation, stem cells, ER stress, protein translation

Brain health & Heart connection

Influence of mental health on cardiovascular WELLBEING & disease

Mental health influences the overall wellbeing and function of the vital organs in the body. Mental health disorder has been increasing at an alarming rate. Mental health disorders such as depression, PTSD, anxiety disorders etc increase the risk for cardiovascular diseases. There is strong clinical evidence of depression and cardiovascular comorbidity, however there is a significant knowledge gap when it comes to identifying the mechanisms driving cardiac disease in patients with depression. Our RNA-sequencing and molecular analyses has identified novel mediators that might be driving the risk of heart disease during depression.

Our recent study has revealed cardiac glycosaminoglycans and structural alterations during chronic stress-induced depression-like behavior in mice. The study is published in peer-reviewed American Journal of Physiology-Heart and Circulatory Physiology. Link for the full article:

diabetes increases the risk for heart disease

Diabetes is a chronic metabolic disorder that affects the body's ability to regulate blood sugar levels. Clinical evidence shows that individuals with diabetes are at a higher risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, including heart failure, stroke, and coronary artery disease.  Studying the mechanism of diabetes-induced heart disease can help in the development of better treatment strategies. 

Studies from our laboratory has shown that Human antigen R (HuR) protein might be targeted to alleviate macrophage dysfunction and pathological fibrosis in diabetes. The study is published in peer-reviewed FASEB Journal. Link for the full article:

micro-organisms in blood

cardiac injury during sepsis

Sepsis and endotoxemia can have serious effects on the heart, which can lead to the development or worsening of heart disease. Sepsis is a condition that arises when the body's response to an infection causes damage to its own tissues and organs. Endotoxemia, on the other hand, is the presence of endotoxins (produced by bacteria) in the bloodstream, which can cause inflammation and damage to the blood vessels.

Both sepsis and endotoxemia can cause septic cardiomyopathy, a condition characterized by impaired heart function, which can result in low blood pressure and decreased blood flow to vital organs, including the brain and kidneys. Septic cardiomyopathy can lead to heart failure, which can be life-threatening.

Our laboratory is involved in studying the mechanism of heart dysfunction during sepsis/endotoxemia. Our recent study has revealed that m6A methylation of RNA might play an important role in increased inflammation in the heart. The study is published in peer-reviewed Journal, Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry. Link for the full article: https://doi.10.1007/s11010-021-04267-2

Immune cell's Eating Disorder & its effects on wound healing

Some cells die and these dead cells have to be removed from the body to maintain good health. When tissue gets injured, the dead cells are removed from injury site and normal healing ensues. The process of removal of dead cells by phagocytes (like macrophages) is called efferocytosis. Aberrant clearance leads to progression of a number of human chronic inflammatory diseases such as autoimmune and neurological disorders, diabetes, inflammatory lung diseases and atherosclerosis. We believe that if efferocytosis is perturbed during heart injury/disease, healing process is impaired leading to adverse structural remodeling and dysfunction.

Our laboratory recently discovered that mesenchymal stem cells-derived exosomes positively influences macrophage-mediated efferocytosis in the injured heart by different mechanisms. Our study published in peer-reviewed journal, Circulation Research, reports two novel molecular mechanisms. Link to the full article: doi: 10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.120.317900.

Source: Circulation Research. 2021;129:1006–1020.

We would like to thank the following external agencies for the research funding support