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

Research Bio

Dr. Porter's laboratory studies mechanisms that control cardiac development, 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 cardiac myocytes as the embryonic heart forms. In particular, we have found that closure of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (PTP) 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. More recent research finds that the same phenomena occur in the neonatal heart, and that closure of the PTP in the neonate increases cardiac function in vivo.
These findings have led to additional studies. 1. Determining that the PTP is derived from ATP synthase the electron transport chain complex that makes ATP. 2. Determining the mechanisms that control the activity of the PTP. 3. Investigating the mechanisms by which mitochondria control oxidative stress in the embryonic heart. 5. 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 enrolled over 10,000 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. The most recent version of this study will determine the relationship between genetic mutations, heart defects, and neurodevelopmental outcomes.
These studies have been funded by the Charles H. Hood Foundation, the Children's Cardiomyopathy Foundation, Founder's Affiliate of American Heart Association, the NIH, Pfizer, the Strong Children's Research Center, and the University of Rochester Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI), the Aab Cardiovascular Research Institute (CVRI), and the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation.

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. 23 available »

2016 Sep 3
Beutner G, Kambiz AN, Jonas EA, Porter GA. "The Mitochondrial Permeability Transition Pore and ATP Synthase." Handbook of experimental pharmacology. 2016 Sep 3; Epub 2016 Sep 03.
2016 Feb 17
Maruyama EO, Lin H, Chiu SY, Yu HM, Porter GA, Hsu W. "Extraembryonic but not embryonic SUMO-specific protease 2 is required for heart development." Scientific reports. 2016 Feb 17; 6:20999. Epub 2016 Feb 17.
2016 Feb 11
Mnatsakanyan N, Beutner G, Porter GA, Alavian KN, Jonas EA. "Physiological roles of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore." Journal of bioenergetics and biomembranes. 2016 Feb 11; Epub 2016 Feb 11.
2015 Dec 4
Homsy J, Zaidi S, Shen Y, Ware JS, Samocha KE, Karczewski KJ, DePalma SR, McKean D, Wakimoto H, Gorham J, Jin SC, Deanfield J, Giardini A, Porter GA, Kim R, Bilguvar K, López-Giráldez F, Tikhonova I, Mane S, Romano-Adesman A, Qi H, Vardarajan B, Ma L, Daly M, Roberts AE, Russell MW, Mital S, Newburger JW, Gaynor JW, Breitbart RE, Iossifov I, Ronemus M, Sanders SJ, Kaltman JR, Seidman JG, Brueckner M, Gelb BD, Goldmuntz E, Lifton RP, Seidman CE, Chung WK. "De novo mutations in congenital heart disease with neurodevelopmental and other congenital anomalies." Science. 2015 Dec 4; 350(6265):1262-6.
2015 Sep
Jonas EA, Porter GA, Beutner G, Mnatsakanyan N, Alavian KN. "Cell death disguised: The mitochondrial permeability transition pore as the c-subunit of the F(1)F(O) ATP synthase." Pharmacological research. 2015 Sep; 99:382-92. Epub 2015 May 05.

Current Appointments

Associate Professor - Department of Pediatrics, Cardiology (SMD) - Primary
Associate Professor - Department of Medicine, Aab Cardiovascular Research Institute (SMD)
Associate 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