Molecular Cardiology Research Institute (MCRI)
The Molecular Pathogenesis and Treatment of Inherited and Acquired Cardiomyopathies
The Chin lab is interested in the molecular mechanisms that mediate the development of cardiomyopathies, with a particular focus on the genetic events that occur within the myocardium that result in myocardial dysfunction. Major areas of interest include the pathogenesis of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), an inherited disorder that affects approximately 1 in 500, development of an enzyme replacement therapy for Barth Syndrome (BTHS), an inherited cardiomyopathy resulting from mitochondrial dysfunction and understanding the effects of air pollution exposure on the development of heart failure.
The Pathogenesis of Obstructive Lesions in human HCM
Dr. Chin is the inaugural Research Director for the Tufts Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Center and Research Institute, a clinical center for excellence for HCM diagnosis and treatment. The newly formed research institute is focused on identifying pathogenic pathways in human HCM using single cell genomics on clinical myectomy specimens to identify therapeutic targets, and also using state of the art proteomics to identify biomarkers that will aid in the diagnosis and personalized treatment of HCM and its complications.
Development of an Enzyme Replacement Therapy for Barth Syndrome
Barth Syndrome is a rare X-linked disorder resulting from mutation in the tafazzin gene, which encodes an enzyme that remodels cardiopin to a form that is important for normal mitochondrial structure and function. Patients with this disorder develop cardiomyopathy in childhood accompanied by skeletal myopathy and cyclic neutropenia. Patients rarely survive beyond young adulthood and there are no efficacious therapies. Dr. Chin’s lab is focused on developing a recombinant enzyme replacement therapy that uses cell penetrating peptides to enter the cell, localize to mitochondria and correct the mitochondrial defects associated with this disorder.
Developmental Exposure to Diesel Exhaust and Adult Susceptibility to Heart Failure
Exposure to traffic-related air pollution is associated with increased cardiovascular events, and developmental exposure to diesel exhaust is associated with placental abnormalities and metabolic perturbation after birth. Dr. Chin’s lab is focused on analyzing how maternal exposure to diesel exhaust leads to adult susceptibility to heart failure, by analyzing epigenetic, transcriptional and metabolic effects in the heart that ensue from this exposure.
Junya Awata, PhD
Amy Larson, PhD
Michel Chin, MD, PhD