Dr. Dmitry Terentyev is interested in processes that regulate cardiac contractility under both normal conditions and during cardiac disease. On a beat-to-beat basis, contraction and relaxation of myocytes composing the heart follows cyclical increases and decreases of cytosolic calcium. Our research is concerned with the mechanisms that govern functional activity of protein components of intracellular calcium handling machinery. Changes in calcium handling are responsible for the disease-related changes in strength of contraction (heart failure) and regularity of electrical activity of the heart (arrhythmias). The goal of our studies is to provide an understanding of how calcium handling is controlled in normal myocytes and how changes in these processes result in development of malignant arrhythmias and heart failure. Gaining insights into mechanisms of heart failure and cardiac arrhythmias is critical for the development of novel efficient therapeutic strategies. Specifically we are interested in regulation of calcium handling by microRNAs (miRNAs). MiRNAs are a family of small, ~21-nucleotide long, nonprotein-coding RNAs that have emerged as key post-transcriptional regulators of gene expression and are thought to have an unparalleled therapeutic potential. In order to gain better understanding of mechanisms that regulate cardiomyocyte function we use confocal life-cell imaging combined with methods of cellular electrophysiology, biochemistry and molecular genetics.
Senior Research Associate
Rhode Island Hospital