Advisor: Dr. Han-Gang Yu
Heart failure is a lifelong disability. It is a comorbidity in 1 in 9 deaths, and individuals aged 40 or greater are at a 20% risk of developing heart failure. Obesity is an extremely common comorbidity with heart failure, especially in West Virginia, which has some of the highest rates of both diseases in the country. Left ventricular hypertrophy is a powerful, independent predictor of heart failure but is often overlooked until a major cardiac event has occurred. My research is focused on the levels of genes and proteins that underlie left ventricular hypertrophy in rodent models of obesity and their shared properties with human hearts. This work will generate potential gene and protein targets for future drug development and early biomarkers of impending heart failure.