Paul Goldspink Lab
Paul Goldspink, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Physiology
The research in Dr. Goldspink's laboratory is focused on understanding the actions of IGF-1 isoforms in the heart and other tissues.
IGF-1 exerts pleiotropic effects on numerous tissues by influencing different cellular processes such as proliferation, protein expression, growth and metabolism. The IGF-1 gene gives rise to different isoforms in various tissues during development, in response to hormonal stimulation, nutrition, aging and disease. An underlying hypothesis of our research is that the pleiotropic actions of IGF-1 may manifest as a consequence of differential isoform function.
We are investigating the role of IGF-1 isoforms in response to stresses such a mechanical overload, hypoxia, oxidative stress and age in the heart. We have focused on a particular isoform called Mechano-Growth Factor (MGF), which plays a protective role in preventing cell death, preserving contractility and preventing pathologic hypertrophy of the heart following myocardial infarction. We are currently investigating the underlying mechanisms utilizing peptide analogs derived from the E-domain region of MGF which serve as allosteric modulators of excitation-transcription pathways in muscle. Through collaborations we have been able to exploit our findings by developing a technology that combines a microscopic physical scaffold to deliver peptide therapeutics, with the goal of improving cardiac function during the progression of heart failure by using implantable cell-sized “biomimetic devices”. The development of these intelligent drug delivery platforms which we have recently employed in the heart, also have applicability of other tissues and disease states.
James Peña, BS, MScLab Manager