George A. Porter, Jr., M.D., Ph.D.
The Porter laboratory studies mechanisms that control the development of the heart. He has a long-standing interest in the effects of altered intracellular calcium signaling on early heart development. Using novel whole-embryo and organ cultures, he has shown that altered calcium levels in the developing heart lead to abnormal development of the cardiac outflow tract and non-compaction cardiomyopathy. These studies led to his current interest in how mitochondria regulate energy production, calcium levels and signaling as the heart forms. His lab has found that mitochondria mature as the heart matures, and that this maturation of mitochondria may be an essential regulator of cardiac myocyte differentiation and cardiac development. The lab uses murine models and various cell, developmental, and molecular biological techniques to perform these studies.