Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Main Building, Room 8NW49
34th Street and Civic Center Boulevard
Philadelphia, PA 19104
BIOGRAPHY AND RESEARCH INTERESTS
A.B., Harvard College, 1973 (magna cum laude, Biochemical Sciences)
M.D., Stanford University, 1977
Pediatrics residency years, 1977-1979
Pediatric Cardiology fellowship, 1979-1982 (Children's Hospital, Boston)
Developmental Biology fellowship 1994; 1995-1999 (Massachusetts General Hospital; University of Pennsylvania)
The focus of my research from 1994 through 2007 was developmental biology of the cardiovascular system using the zebrafish model, with the overall goal of understanding the molecular basis of congenital heart disease.
My lab's main project was understanding how the left-right body axis was specified during embryonic development, in order to gain insight into a syndrome called heterotaxy, occurring at a frequency of 1.00 to 1.44 per 10,000 human live births. Disorders of organ lateralization, such as heterotaxy syndrome and situs inversus totalis, are frequently associated with complex anomalies of the heart and major veins. Despite elaborate staged surgical reconstructive strategies (usually culminating in the Fontan operation), 20-year survival remains <50%.
Since 2008, I have closed my zebrafish lab, transitioned to part-time status and have resumed two clinical research projects: (1) Identification of informative biomarkers to be used as surveillance tools in the monitoring of late survivors of the Fontan operation for "functional single ventricle"; and (2) computer modeling of the Fontan circulation. My collaborators for Project 1 are at the eleven institutions which form the Consortium of Clinical Investigations for Complex Congenital Heart Diseases (CCI-CCHD). My collaborator for Project 2 is Ray Watrous PhD.