CMS Early Career Committee

Mission : Promote early career advancement for individuals focusing on cardiac muscle physiology.

Aims :

  • 1. Provide coordinated trainings to foster the development of trainees and early career individuals in the field of cardiac muscle physiology research
  • 2. Promote collaborations and networking with established investigators in the field of cardiac muscle physiology research
  • 3. Facilitate the dissemination of information for scientific advancement and career opportunities

Current activities : Early Career Presentations at the Annual CMS Meeting

Members of the CMS EC Committee
Chair – Maegen Ackermann Borzok, Ph.D
Assistant Professor
Department of Physiology and Cell Biology
The Ohio State University, College of Medicine
Columbus, OH

Established during the summer of 2015, Dr. Ackermann’s independent research program focuses on cytoskeletal elements of cardiac muscle necessary to maintain beat-to-beat synchrony and normal myocyte coupling. The goals of our research are threefold: 1. to define novel mechanisms of cardiac arrhythmias, 2. to understand the link between structural proteins and cardiac electrical defects, and 3. to define novel signaling mechanisms linking cytoskeletal proteins and ion channel dysfunction. These goals are accomplished through the characterization of novel proteins and investigation of known proteins with novel functions.

Website : https://medicine.osu.edu/physiology/faculty-research/MaegenAckermannBorzok
Email : maegen.ackermann@osumc.edu

Vice Chair - Deeptankar DeMazumder, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor
Department of Internal Medicine, Cardiology
University of Cincinnati
Cincinnati, OH

Dr. DeMazumder is a physician-scientist in cardiac electrophysiology (EP). His research focuses on the mechanistic link between heart failure and sudden cardiac death in the context of patho/physiological mechanisms in excitation-contraction coupling, clinically-relevant animal models, novel therapies, prognostic analytics and epidemiology. As a basic scientist, practicing EP physician and clinical trialist, Dr. DeMazumder’s research is aimed at coming “full circle” from bench to the bedside, i.e., by transforming clinical observations into testable research hypotheses, translating basic research findings into medical advances, and designing and evaluating patient treatment protocols in rigorous clinical trials.

Website :  
Email : demazudr@ucmail.uc.edu

Charles S Chung, PhD
Assistant Professor
Department of Physiology
Wayne State University
Detroit, MI

Dr. Chung’s research focuses on cardiac mechanics and structure, with a special emphasis on diastolic function. The goal of this work is to find novel and clinically-relevant diagnostic indexes or treatment targets by integrating protein, cellular, multicellular, organ, and in vivo function data with computational and kinematic modeling.

Website :  
Email : cchung@med.wayne.edu

Brett Colson, PhD
Assistant Professor
Department of Cell and Molecular Medicine
University of Arizona
Tuscon, AZ

Dr. Colson is Assistant Professor of Cellular and Molecular Medicine at the University of Arizona. He earned his B.S. in Molecular Biology in 2004, and M.S./PhD in Physiology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, working with Professor Richard Moss through 2009. His thesis work used X-ray diffraction to study myocardial cross-bridge regulation by myosin-binding protein C. Dr. Colson pursued postdoctoral studies in biochemistry and biophysics working with Prof. David Thomas at the University of Minnesota, where he developed spectroscopic approaches for probing actin-myosin structural dynamics. At Arizona, Colson continues his focus on the molecular basis of contraction in healthy and diseased hearts.

Website : http://cmm.arizona.edu/profile/brett-colson-phd-0
Email : bcolson@email.arizona.edu

Jennifer Davis, PhD
Assistant Professor
Department of Pathology and Bioengineering
University of Washington
Seattle, WA

Dr. Davis, a cellular and molecular physiologist that uses genetic engineering to study the biology of cardiac wound healing and remodeling. She earned her Ph.D. in Molecular & Integrative Physiology at the University of Michigan, followed by postdoctoral training at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Heart Institute. Her research program is focused on 3 primary areas which include (1) identifying the signaling networks causal for cardiac fibroblast differentiation into the cell-type (myofibroblast) that is causal for fibrosis, (2) manipulating the fibroblast to tactically modulate matrix deposition and hence improve healing after injury, and (3) identifying the mechanical signaling between the matrix and cardiac myocytes that regulate cardiac morphogenesis. These research areas will significantly inform the field’s understanding of fibroblast and myocyte biology as well as cardiac plasticity. Together this knowledge could significantly impact current clinical paradigms for treating acquired and genetic heart disease.

Website : http://www.pathology.washington.edu/faculty/davis
Email : jendavis@uw.edu

Christopher N. Johnson, PhD
Research Instructor
Department of Medicine
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Nashville, TN

Dr. Johnson is a structural biologist that utilizes a multi-disciplinary approach to understand calcium regulatory processes in the heart. His work combines structural biology, biophysics and electrophysiology in order to understand how the intra-cellular calcium sensing protein “Calmodulin" transduces changes in calcium concentration into protein-protein interactions and how these events influence or regulate the cardiac excitation contraction cycle. Dr. Johnson joined the Vanderbilt Faculty as a Research Instructor in Medicine the summer of 2016.

Website : https://medicine.mc.vanderbilt.edu/person/Christopher-Johnson
Email : cn.johnson@vanderbilt.edu

Jonathan Kirk, PhD
Assistant Professor
Department of Cell and Molecular Physiology
Loyola University
Chicago, IL

Jonathan Kirk received his Ph.D. in Bioengineering from University of Pittsburgh under the mentorship of Dr. Sanjeev Shroff and performed his post-doctoral fellowship at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine with Dr. David Kass. Dr. Kirk is now an Assistant Professor in Cell and Molecular Physiology at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. His lab studies the biophysical properties and molecular signaling that occurs in cardiovascular disease, specifically focusing on the myofilament, the molecular motor of the heart.

Website : www.kirklab.com
Email : jkirk2@luc.edu

Michael J. Previs, PhD
Assistant Professor
Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics
University of Vermont
Burlington, VT

Muscle is a soft tissue found throughout the body that responds to internal cues by producing force and generating motion through cellular contraction. These contractions results from the cyclic interaction of tiny molecular motors, named myosin, with filamentous actin. Dr. Previs’s lab is focused on understanding the molecular mechanisms that regulate these interactions in both human health and diverse forms of cardiac diseases, such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Using a combination of single molecule microscopy, mass spectrometry and transgenic techniques to directly probe these mechanisms at the molecular level we hope to provide targets for therapeutic interventions.

Website : http://physioweb.uvm.edu/faculty-profile/?user=Michael_Previs
Email : mprevis@uvm.edu

Benjamin Prosser, PhD
Assistant Professor
Department of Physiology
University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine
Philadelphia, PA

The Prosser lab opened at Penn in the summer of 2014. We study the mechanobiology of the heart – how a heart cell generates force, and how force itself feeds back to regulate cell function and form. We leverage super-resolution imaging, cellular biophysics and bioengineering to tackle fundamental questions of mechanics and mechanosensing, with a particular focus on the cardiac cytoskeleton.

Website : http://hosting.med.upenn.edu/prosserlab/
Email : bpros@mail.med.upenn.edu