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Russell "Chip" Norris, PhD
The Alchemy of a Cardiac Fibroblast
Assistant Professor, Department of Regenerative Medicine and Cell Biology, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina
2 Riverside Circle, Roanoke, VA 24016
Dr. Norris's research over the past 15 years has focused primarily on how fibroblasts interact with other cell types. His work seeks to understand how disruption of these interactions can cause human disease. Recently he identified a novel cadherin, Daschous-1 (DCHS1), that is important in cell polarity pathways controlling valve development in the heart. Linkage analyses and deep sequencing showed that mutations in DCHS1 were causative in mitral valve prolapse. Using patient genetic data, mouse models were developed and developmental defects in cell polarity were demonstrated to cause a progression to mitral valve prolapse. The work on DCHS1 is currently in revision at The New England Journal of Medicine. Ongoing work on the DCHS1 gene has revealed that in the myocardial wall DCHS1 also interacts with FAT4 to control myocyte proliferation. This is primarily mediated through a heterotypic, heterocellular mechanism between fibroblasts and myocytes that is required to activate the growth control pathway known as Hippo. Understanding and applying our knowledge for how myocyte proliferation is regulated may yield benefits for individuals suffering from myocardial infarction, as well as congestive heart failure.
About the Speaker:
Dr. Norris is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Regenerative Medicine and Cell Biology at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, South Carolina.