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Our laboratory is interested in mechanisms underlying the regulation of cell growth, survival and inflammation by G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs), specifically the signal transduction pathways by which specific subtypes of GPCRs (those for thrombin, LPA, S1P) are able to effect chronic changes in cellular responses that contribute to disease progression. We use biochemical, cell and molecular biological techniques to identify pathways and subsequently generate transgenic or knockout mice to assess the physiological role of these pathways. Molecular players of current interest include the small G-protein RhoA, calcium regulated CaM kinase, and the transcriptional co-factors MRTFA and YAP. Our research focuses on their roles in heart disease, neuroinflammation, glioblastoma stem cells and tumor growth.


Joan Heller Brown, Ph.D



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CaM Kinase and Heart Failure


Calcium/calmodulin dependent protein kinase as a mediator of cardiac pathophysiology

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G-protein coupled receptors and RhoA mediated transcriptional response in astroglial inflammation  and glioblastoma tumor formation

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RhoA and Cardioprotection


Molecular mechanisms by which RhoA and sphingosine -1-phosphate lead to  cardioprotection

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Other Projects

  1. RhoA and mitophagy (view more)

  2. Effects of e.cigarettes on cardiac                         inflammation (view more)

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