September 01, 2013

How to become a heart cell: Benoit Bruneau

Benoit Bruneau
Gladstone Institute for Cardiovascular Disease

Sept. 1, 2013 (Hosted by Osama Ahmed)

Our bodies are made up of around 200 different cell types with very different structures and functions. Paradoxically, every cell contains the same genetic material. During development, proteins called transcription factors turn specific genes on and off. This can force a cell to develop into a brain cell rather than a skin cell, for example. But, when the right genes fail to turn on or when the wrong genes are expressed, developmental defects can occur.

Our guest this month, Dr. Benoit Bruneau, a Senior Investigator at the Gladstone Institute for Cardiovascular Disease, wants to know what makes a heart cell a heart cell. His lab is interested in how these different regulators interact, which factors are required for proper heart development, and which are altered in disease. This work answers important questions about how genes direct development, and it has potential applications for future therapies for heart disease.

More on the Bruneau Lab's research