Beth A. Habecker, PhD
Professor and Interim Chair- Physiology & Pharmacology Department
Background & Education
Ph.D. 1992, University of Washington
B.A. 1987, Spring Arbor University
My lab is interested in understanding the changes that occur in cardiac nerves after myocardial infarction (a heart attack). Dysfunction of sympathetic nerves in the heart can trigger arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death. The injury-induced changes to cardiac nerves are not completely understood, but blocking cardiac Beta receptors (which are activated by sympathetic nerves) can prevent arrhythmias. We are trying to understand the molecular basis for MI-induced changes in sympathetic function, investigating the regulation of neuronal proteins involved in noradrenergic and cholinergic neurotransmission and the genes that encode them. We are also examining the induction of neuropeptides in cardiac nerves following MI, and how those peptides alter neurotransmission and cardiac function. Finally, we are examining the role of neurotrophins and extracellular matrix in post-infarct denervation and nerve regeneration. We use a variety of molecular, biochemical, and histological techniques to investigate the regulation of these proteins and genes, using cell lines, primary neuronal cultures, and whole animal studies.
Beth Habecker, Ph.D.
Department of Physiology and Pharmacology
Oregon Health & Science University
3181 SW Sam Jackson Park Rd
Portland, OR 97239
Phone: (503) 494-0497
Fax: (503) 494-4352