Daniel Beard, Ph.D.

Research in our lab is focused on cardiac energy metabolism, mechano-energetic coupling in the myocardium, regulation of blood flow, and the etiology and sequelae of hypertension. We use systems engineering approaches to understanding the operation of physiological systems in health and disease. Current projects use multi-scale models to simulate the integrated operation of metabolic pathways (e.g., oxidative ATP synthesis in the heart), cellular functions (e.g., cellular calcium handling and actin/myosin cross-bridge dynamics), whole-organ function (e.g., mechanics of cardiac pumping), and whole-body body cardiopulmonary function. Experiments are used to identify and validate models representing individual components: in vitro experiments using purified enzymes, purified mitochondria, isolated cells, etc., and in vivo experiments to observe how all these pieces work together. Models that integrate function across these multiple systems and scales are used to identify novel hypotheses for the molecular mechanisms of diseases, identify molecular targets to effect desired outcomes, and to help translate findings from animal models to the clinic.