My laboratory is interested in understanding the mechanisms that contribute to the development of heart disease.
The heart functions as a pump that cycles between contraction and relaxation in order to provide nutrients and oxygen and remove waste from all organs. Multiple risk factors are known to cause malfunctions of the heart, including diabetes, obesity, aging and ischemic heart disease (heart attack). Our lab focuses on how metabolic disorders, specifically diabetes, lead to these malfunctions. We induce diabetes in mice and measure contraction and relaxation functions with ultrasound to trace what goes awry in diabetic hearts.
A number of theories have been proposed on how metabolic disorders contribute to the development of heart disease. We focus on an emerging area of research centered on a molecule called NAD+. NAD+ is a crucial part of our cellular metabolism and acts as a moderator of metabolic processes. For example, as cells break down sugar and fat for energy, NAD+ is a critical facilitator for the flow of these metabolic processes.
Studies from the past decade have started to expand our understanding on how this molecule regulates other cellular processes and, ultimately, contributes to heart disease.
NAD+-dependent pathways have emerged as promising therapeutic targets in multiple diseases. Our goal is to identify novel NAD+-dependent mechanisms that contribute to the pathogenesis of heart disease. We hope that our studies will result in improved treatment options for patients to slow, reduce or even prevent disease progression.
Senior Fellow, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, 2016
Ph.D., University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, TX, 2011
M.Phil., Chinese University of Hong Kong, 2004
B.Sc., Chinese University of Hong Kong, 2002
Honors and Awards
2018 New Investigator Travel Award, BCVS Scientific Sessions, American Heart Association
2018 Judy Su Poster Award, Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, University of Washington
2017-2019 Scientist Development Grant, Association-Wide, AHA
2015 Finalist, Melvin L. Marcus Young Investigator Award, Council of Basic Cardiovascular Sciences, AHA
2015 Scholarship, Keystone Symposia
2013 BCVS Abstract Travel Award, AHA Scientific Sessions
2013 Judy Su Travel Award, Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, UW
2013-2015 Postdoctoral Fellowship, AHA Western States Affiliate
2011 ATVB Travel Award, AHA Scientific Sessions
2011 ASBMB Travel Award, Experimental Biology
2010 Finalist, Presidential Award, the Society of Leukocyte Biology
2010 Travel Award, Annual Meeting of the SLB
2010-2012 Predoctoral Fellowship, AHA Southwestern Affiliate
Joined OMRF Scientific Staff in 2019
Cardiovascular Biology Research Program, MS 45
Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation
825 N.E. 13th Street
Oklahoma City, OK 73104
Phone: (405) 271-1703, (405) 271-1704
Fax: (405) 271-7417