George A. Porter, M.D., Ph.D.

George A. Porter, M.D., Ph.D.

Contact Information

University of Rochester Medical Center
School of Medicine and Dentistry
601 Elmwood Ave, Box 631
Rochester, NY 14642

Administrative: (585) 275-6096
Fax: (585) 442-0104
Office: (585) 275-6108

Research Bio

Dr. Porter's laboratory studies mechanisms that control the development of the heart, concentrating on the roles played by the intracellular organelles, mitochondria. Using in vivo and in vitro mouse models of cardiac development, the lab has shown that mitochondrial structure and function changes dramatically in muscle cells as the embryonic heart develops. In particular, we have found that closure of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore, or mPTP, between the early and mid embryonic period leads to a maturation of the structure of individual mitochondria and of the mitochondrial network throughout the cell.

This also leads to an activation of oxidative phosphorylation, or ATP production, by mitochondria as the heart develops. These changes also cause a drop in cellular oxidative stress due to altered mitochondrial production of reactive oxygen species, and this signals to the myocytes to undergo further differentiation.
These findings have led to additional studies. 1. Determining the mechanisms that control the activity of the mPTP. 2. Determining how the assembly of the different components of the electron transport chain are controlled by and may control the creation of the pore of the mPTP. 3. Investigating the mechanisms by which mitochondria control oxidative stress in the embryonic heart. 4. Determining oxygen levels in vivo in the embryonic and fetal heart, lungs, and brain using a novel microelectrode to determine values under normal and abnormal conditions. 5. Investigating the role that mitochondria play in regulating intracellular calcium levels in the developing heart. 6. Determining how mitochondria regulate differentiation of cardiac myocytes in the neonatal period and how oxygen levels regulate these changes and cause maturation of the infant heart.
Finally, Dr. Porter is the site principal investigator at the University of Rochester for the Pediatric Cardiac Genomics Consortium. This international, multicenter arm of the NIH Bench to Bassinet program ( has collects material information patients with congenital heart defects to perform genotype-phenotype correlation using advanced genetic testing. This data derived from this study is being used to discover new genes that cause human congenital heart defects and to test the pathogenesis of these genes in animal models through collaboration with the Cardiovascular Development Consortium of the Bench to Bassinet program.
These studies have been funded by the Charles H. Hood Foundation, the Children's Cardiomyopathy Foundation, the NIH, Pfizer, and the University of Rochester CTSI and are currently funded by the Founder's Affiliate of American Heart Association, the NIH, and the Strong Children's Research Center.

Awards & Honors (Local)

Ruth A. Lawrence Academic Faculty Service Award in Research, UR Medicine, Department of Pediatrics 2015
Second place, Basic Cardiovascular Science Poster Competion (Research Symposium) | Upstate, New York 2008
The Mae Gailani Junior Faculty Award for Uncompromising Dedication to Research and Patient Care | Yale Department of Pediatrics 2004
AHA Travel Award to the 1999 Weinstein Cardiovascular Development Conference 1999
The American Federation for Clinical Research Medical Student Award | University of Maryland School of Medicine 1994
Dr. J. Edmund Bradley Award for Excellence in Pediatrics | University of Maryland School of Medicine 1994
Extended Neuroscience Research Award, The American Academy of Neurology 1992

Recent Journal Articles

Showing the 5 most recent journal articles. 19 available »

2015 May 5
Jonas EA, Porter GA, Beutner G, Mnatsakanyan N, Alavian KN. "Cell death disguised: The mitochondrial permeability transition pore as the c-subunit of the F1FO ATP synthase." Pharmacological research : the official journal of the Italian Pharmacological Society. 2015 May 5; Epub 2015 May 05.
2014 Jul 22
Alavian KN, Beutner G, Lazrove E, Sacchetti S, Park HA, Licznerski P, Li H, Nabili P, Hockensmith K, Graham M, Porter GA, Jonas EA. "An uncoupling channel within the c-subunit ring of the F1FO ATP synthase is the mitochondrial permeability transition pore." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2014 Jul 22; 111(29):10580-5. Epub 2014 Jun 16.
2014 Jun 15
Porter GA, Urciuoli WR, Brookes PS, Nadtochiy SM. "SIRT3 deficiency exacerbates ischemia-reperfusion injury: implication for aged hearts." American journal of physiology. Heart and circulatory physiology. 2014 Jun 15; 306(12):H1602-9. Epub 2014 Apr 18.
Jonas EA, Porter GA, Alavian KN. "Bcl-xL in neuroprotection and plasticity." Frontiers in physiology. 2014 5:355. Epub 2014 Sep 17.
Beutner G, Eliseev RA, Porter GA. "Initiation of electron transport chain activity in the embryonic heart coincides with the activation of mitochondrial complex 1 and the formation of supercomplexes." PloS one. 2014 9(11):e113330. Epub 2014 Nov 26.

Current Appointments

Assistant Professor - Department of Pediatrics, Cardiology (SMD) - Primary
Assistant Professor - Department of Pharmacology and Physiology (SMD)


Pediatrics - American Board of Pediatrics
Pediatric Cardiology - American Board of Pediatrics


M.D. | Medicine | University of Maryland School of Medicine1994
Ph.D. | Physiology | University of Maryland School of Medicine1993
B.S. | Biology | University of Notre Dame1986

Post-Doctoral Training & Residency

Fellowship in Pediatric Cardiology at Yale New Haven Hospital07/01/1997 - 06/20/2000
Residency in Pediatrics at Yale New Haven Hospital07/01/1995 - 06/30/1997
Internship in Pediatrics at Yale New Haven Hospital07/01/1994 - 06/30/1995