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Profile of Gary Lopaschuk, PhD
423 Heritage Medical Research Centre
Dr. Gary Lopaschuk
(Departments of Pediatrics and Pharmacology) focuses on the regulatory pathways involved in energy metabolism in the heart, particularly the integrated regulation of fatty acid oxidation and carbohydrate metabolism in both the normal heart, the heart of a diabetic, and the reperfused ischemic heart.
Overall, Dr. Lopaschuk
believes that optimizing fuel use by the heart has tremendous potential for treating heart disease.
ongoing research studies could help realize this potential.
In fetal life, the heart obtains most of its energy requirements from the metabolism of carbohydrates.
However, within days of birth, fatty acid oxidation increases dramatically (over 10 fold) and becomes the major fuel of the heart.
team has defined what molecular changes occur in the heart that are responsible for this switch in energy preference.
laboratory and others have shown that decreasing fatty acid use by the heart will increase the use of sugars as a source of energy, which then decreases the likelihood of the diabetic developing heart problems.
team has obtained a better understanding of how fatty acid use by the heart is regulated in the diabetic.
lab has shown that activity of some key enzymes involved in the regulation of fatty acid metabolism is altered.
is presently determining if returning the activity of these enzymes to normal improves heart function in the diabetic.