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Molecular Cardiology Research Institute (MCRI)

Researchers + Staff

The Molecular Cardiology Research Institute (MCRI) at Tufts Medical Center is comprised of 17 gifted investigators and physician-scientists teamed with over 80 highly-trained staff and engaged trainees.

The MCRI is led by an Executive Director, and three center Directors, all of whom work collaboratively in the MCRI.

Executive Director and Director of Vascular Biology Research Center 

Iris Z. Jaffe, MD, PhD
The primary focus of the Jaffe lab is to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying common vascular disorders including hypertension, vascular remodeling, and atherosclerosis with specific emphasis on the role of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system. The Jaffe laboratory demonstrated the presence of functional mineralocorticoid receptors (MR) in human vascular cells and is studying the role of vascular MR in cardiovascular function and disease. The lab uses in vitro molecular techniques in vascular cells, genome wide “omics” analyses of cardiovascular tissues, whole vessels studies of vascular function, and in vivo tissue-specific transgenic mouse models to study vascular structure, function, and responses to injury and atherogenic stimuli to identify the molecular mechanisms of vascular disease and identify novel treatment targets.

Director of Cardiac Biology Research Center

Navin K. Kapur, MD
As Director of the Cardiac Biology Research Center within the Molecular Cardiology Research Institute at Tufts Medical Center, Dr. Kapur’s basic science laboratory focuses on molecular mechanisms governing maladaptive cardiac remodeling in heart failure. His particular expertise involves signaling via the transforming growth factor beta (TGFb) system. Over the past 6 years, the laboratory has published several critical papers focused on a TGFb co-receptor known as endoglin and was the first to establish that reduced endoglin activity improves survival and limits maladaptive cardiac remodeling in heart failure. More recently, the laboratory has demonstrated that targeting endoglin using an antibody-mediated approach not only limits the development of cardiac fibrosis, but can reverse established cardiac fibrosis in preclinical models of heart failure. Dr. Kapur is the recipient of grant funding from the National Institutes of Health, American Heart Association, and several industry sponsors.

Director of Center for Translational Pharmacology and Genomics

Gordon Huggins, MD 
The primary goal of my laboratory is to make discoveries relevant to human diseases for the purpose of understanding the biology of human development and disease that in addition to providing greater insight into mechanisms of disease may also translate to improved diagnostics and therapies. We seek to make our primary discoveries by studying human DNA and/or tissues. Genes or pathways identified through discovery work based upon human samples then serve as the basis for traditional hypothesis-oriented research in animal and cellular model systems employed by my laboratory. In addition, I direct the NHLBI Heart Failure Network program at Tufts MC that includes implementing network clinical trials and co-direct the Committee on Participation of

Martin Beinborn, MD

Martin Beinborn, MD

Title(s): Co-Director, Molecular Pharmacology Research Center; Assistant Professor of Medicine, Tufts Medical Center
Department(s): Molecular Cardiology Research Institute, Molecular Pharmacology Research Center
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Molecular pharmacology

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Robert M. Blanton, Jr., MD

Robert M. Blanton, Jr., MD

Title(s): Cardiologist; Investigator and Co-Director, Mouse Physiology Core Laboratory, Molecular Cardiology Research Institute; Assistant Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Medicine, CardioVascular Center, Cardiology
Appt. Phone: 617-636-2273
Fax #: 617-636-1444

General cardiology, preventive cardiology

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Howard H. Chen, PhD

Howard H. Chen, PhD

Title(s): Investigator, Molecular Cardiology Research Institute; Assistant Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Molecular Cardiology Research Institute
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Molecular imaging of cell death and survival, cell energetics, fibrosis and inflammation, molecular mechanisms of cardiac pathophysiology, nanotechnology and novel therapeutics

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Michael T. Chin, MD, PhD

Michael T. Chin, MD, PhD

Title(s): Research Director, Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) Center and Research Institute, Molecular Cardiology Research Institute (MCRI), CardioVascular Center (CVC), and the Division of Cardiology
Department(s): Medicine, CardioVascular Center, Cardiology
Appt. Phone: 617-636-8066
Fax #: 617-636-7175

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, cardiovascular disease

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Isabelle Draper, PhD

Isabelle Draper, PhD

Title(s): Principal Investigator, Molecular Cardiology Institute; Assistant Professor, Tufts School of Medicine
Department(s): Molecular Cardiology Research Institute, Molecular Pharmacology Research Center
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Biochemistry

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Jennifer DuPont, PhD

Jennifer DuPont, PhD

Title(s): Executive Director, Molecular Cardiology Research Institute (MCRI); Cardiologist; Elisa Kent Mendelsohn Professor of Molecular Cardiology, TUSM
Department(s): Molecular Cardiology Research Institute (MCRI)
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Sex differences in vascular ageing, Vascular dysfunction in postmenopausal women

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Jonas B. Galper, MD, PhD

Jonas B. Galper, MD, PhD

Title(s): Director, Laboratory of Lipid Metabolism and CardioVascular Signaling, Molecular Cardiology Research Institute; Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Medicine, CardioVascular Center, Cardiology
Appt. Phone: 617-636-2273
Fax #: 617-636-4833

General cardiology, molecular mechanisms of cardiovascular diseases

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Gordon S. Huggins, MD

Gordon S. Huggins, MD

Title(s): Director, Molecular Cardiology Research Institute (MCRI) Center for Translational Pharmacology and Genomics; Cardiologist; Associate Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Medicine, CardioVascular Center, Cardiology, Molecular Cardiology Research Institute
Appt. Phone: 617-636-2807
Fax #: 617-636-5649

Genetic mechanisms in cardiovascular cells including analysis of human trains and disease as a discovery platform biological studies, genetic susceptibility to heart and vascular diseases and molecular regulation of gene expression in cardiomyocytes and cardiomyocyte precursor cells.

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Iris Z. Jaffe, MD, PhD

Iris Z. Jaffe, MD, PhD

Title(s): Executive Director, Molecular Cardiology Research Institute (MCRI); Cardiologist; Director, Vascular Biology Research Center within the MCRI; Elisa Kent Mendelsohn Professor of Molecular Cardiology, TUSM
Department(s): Molecular Cardiology Research Institute (MCRI), Medicine, CardioVascular Center, Cardiology
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General cardiology, resistant hypertension

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Navin K. Kapur, MD, FAHA, FACC, FSCAI

Navin K. Kapur, MD, FAHA, FACC, FSCAI

Title(s): Executive Director, The CardioVascular Center for Research and Innovation (CVCRI); Director, Acute Mechanical Circulatory Support Program; Director, Interventional Research Laboratories; Director of Cardiac Biology Research Center, Molecular Cardiology Research Institute (MCRI); Associate Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Medicine, CardioVascular Center, Cardiology
Appt. Phone: 617-636-8252
Fax #: 617-636-5913

Interventional cardiology, advanced heart failure, mechanical circulatory support

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Alan S. Kopin, MD

Alan S. Kopin, MD

Title(s): Director, Molecular Pharmacology Research Center; Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine; Professor, Pharmacology and Genetics, Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences
Department(s): Molecular Cardiology Research Institute, Molecular Pharmacology Research Center
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Molecular pharmacology, gastroenterology, physiology

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MariaPilar Alcaide Alonso, PhD
Associate Professor of Medicine, Tufts University School of Medicine

Mark Aronovitz
Director, Mouse Physiology Core

Wendy Baur
Director of Cell Culture Core

Dionne Bradford
Research Administrator, MCRI Administration

Timothy Calamaras
Postdoctoral Fellow

Patricia Griffiths-Rossiter
Research Administrator, MCRI Administration

Benjamin Harwood
Postdoctoral Fellow

Seung Kyum Kim
Postdoctoral Fellow

Qing Lu, MD, PhD
Research Associate

Kevin Morine
Postdoctoral Fellow

Xiaoying Qiao, MD, PhD
Research Associate, Molecular Cardiology Research Center

Debbie Slater, MHSA
Director of Administration and Finance, MCRI Administration

Bonnie Wang, MD
Research Associate, Laboratory of Lipid Metabolism and Cardiovascular Signaling

Yali Zhang, MD, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow, Laboratory of Lipid Metabolism and Cardiovascular Signaling

Josh Man, MD/PhD Student

Seung Kyum Kim, PhD Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Elizabeth Moss, MD/PhD Student

Lauren Biwer, PhD Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Qing Lu, Research Associate