Robert Gourdie


Office phone: 540-526-2095

Office location: R2008

Email address:

Robert Gourdie, Ph.D.

Professor, Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC

Commonwealth Research Commercialization Fund Eminent Scholar in Heart Reparative Medicine Research, Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC

Director, Center for Heart and Reparative Medicine Research

Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics, College of Engineering

Professor, Departments of Emergency Medicine and Internal Medicine, School of Medicine

The research of the Gourdie Laboratory is on the subunit proteins of gap junctions, which are called connexins. Connexins are the channels that enable direct communication between cells.

Projects in the laboratory include:

  1. Research on connexins in cardiac electrical excitation spread – including new ideas on how conduction of electrical impulses in the heart occurs via an ephaptic mechanism.
  2. Studies of how connexin hemichannels are involved in determining injury severity following heart attack, stroke and traumatic brain injury.
  3. Drug discovery – development and testing of new compounds targeting connexin channels for use in diseases of the heart and brain, wound healing, and cancer.
  4. Research on how connexins are involved in the development of drug resistance by glioblastoma brain cancer patients being by treated anti-cancer drugs.
  5. Studies on preventing excessive scarring in breast cancer survivors undergoing breast reconstruction following mastectomy.

The Gourdie Laboratory has a number patents granted and patents pending on drugs developed by the laboratory, which include student inventors. One of the drugs developed in the Gourdie Laboratory has been licensed to a biotech company and completed Phase II clinical testing involving more than 250 patients, halving the healing time of venous leg ulcers and diabetic foot ulcers. The FDA recently approved pivotal Phase III clinical trials.

The Gourdie Laboratory is currently funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health, Virginia Biosciences Health Research Corporation, and the Center for Innovative Technology.

The Gourdie Laboratory provides a supportive professional environment for training in medical research and is looking to recruit new students this year. The scientists have a strong track record of student peer-reviewed publications, as well as students obtaining their own predoctoral and postdoctoral fellowship grants.

For a more complete listing of Robert Gourdie's publications, visit PubMed.

Education and Training

  • University College London: Postdoctoral fellowship , Developmental Biology and Anatomy
  • University of Auckland: MS
  • University of Canterbury: PhD , Biophysics

Previous Positions

  • Medical University of South Carolina Professor, Regenerative Medicine and CBA
    Board of Trustees' Eminent Scholar of Regenerative Medicine
    Co-Director, Cardiovascular Developmental Biology Center
  • Clemson University Adjunct Professor, Bioengineering

Awards and Honors

  • Commonwealth Research Commercialization Fund Scholar, beginning 2012
  • Chair, American Heart Association Regenerative Cell Biology review panel, beginning 2010
  • National Institutes of Health CSR College of Reviewers, beginning 2010
  • MUSC Board of Trustees’ Eminent Scholar, 2008–2012
  • Prizewinner, Charleston Business Journal Innovator, 2006

Selected Publications

Veeraraghavan R, Gourdie RG. (2016). Stochastic Optical Reconstruction Microscopy-based Relative Localization Analysis (STORM-RLA) for Quantitative Nanoscale Assessment of Spatial Protein Organization. Mol Biol Cell .

Murphy SF, Varghese RT, Lamouille S, Guo S, Pridham KJ, Kanabur P, Osimani AM, Sharma S, Jourdan J, Rodgers CM, Simonds GR, Gourdie RG, Sheng Z. (2016). Connexin 43 Inhibition Sensitizes Chemoresistant Glioblastoma Cells to Temozolomide. Cancer Research 76(1): 139-49.

Kuczma M, Wang CY, Ignatowicz L, Gourdie RG, Kraj P. (2015). Altered connexin 43 expression underlies age-dependent decrease of regulatory T cell suppressor function in nonobese diabetic mice. Journal of Immunology 194(11): 5261-71.