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 the cardiac innervation following ischemia reperfusion (a heart attack). Alterations in the sympathetic innervation of the heart after myocardial infarction can trigger arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death. These neuronal changes are not well understood, but blocking cardiac receptors for the neurotransmitter norepinephrine (NE) can help prevent arrhythmias. We are trying to understand the molecular basis for these changes in noradrenergic function, investigating the regulation of neuronal proteins that synthesize, store, and remove NE, and the genes that encode them. We are also examining the induction of neuropeptides in the cardiac innervation following infarction, 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 sprouting. 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