Robert Gourdie, Ph.D.

  • Director, Center for Regenerative Medicine Research
Picture of Rob Gourdie
Fralin Biomedical Research Institute
2 Riverside Circle
Office #2008
Roanoke, VA 24016


Gourdie Lab

Research Areas

  • Cardiovascular engineering

Research Interests

The research of the Gourdie Laboratory is on the subunit proteins of gap junctions, which are called connexins. Connexins are the channels that enable direct communication between cells. Projects in the laboratory include:

  • Research on connexins in cardiac electrical excitation spread – including new ideas on how conduction of electrical impulses in the heart occurs via an ephaptic mechanism.
  • Studies of how connexin hemichannels are involved in determining injury severity following heart attack, stroke and traumatic brain injury.
  • Drug discovery – development and testing of new compounds targeting connexin channels for use in diseases of the heart and brain, wound healing, and cancer.
  • Research on how connexins are involved in the development of drug resistance by glioblastoma brain cancer patients being by treated anti-cancer drugs.
  • Studies on preventing excessive scarring in breast cancer survivors undergoing breast reconstruction following mastectomy.


  • University College London: Postdoctoral fellowship, Developmental Biology and Anatomy
  • University of Canterbury: Ph.D. , Biophysics
  • University of Auckland: MS

Awards, Honors, and Service

  • Commonwealth Research Commercialization Fund Scholar, beginning 2012
  • Chair, American Heart Association Regenerative Cell Biology review panel, beginning 2010
  • National Institutes of Health CSR College of Reviewers, beginning 2010
  • MUSC Board of Trustees’ Eminent Scholar, 2008–2012
  • Prizewinner, Charleston Business Journal Innovator, 2006
  • National Science Foundation Early Career Scholar, 1998
  • Developing Scholar Award, MUSC Health Sciences Foundation, 1997
  • Basil O’Connor Scholar, March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation, 1996

Recent Publications

Veeraraghavan R, Gourdie RG. (2016). Stochastic Optical Reconstruction Microscopy-based Relative Localization Analysis (STORM-RLA) for Quantitative Nanoscale Assessment of Spatial Protein Organization. Mol Biol Cell

Murphy SF, Varghese RT, Lamouille S, Guo S, Pridham KJ, Kanabur P, Osimani AM, Sharma S, Jourdan J, Rodgers CM, Simonds GR, Gourdie RG, Sheng Z. (2016). Connexin 43 Inhibition Sensitizes Chemoresistant Glioblastoma Cells to Temozolomide. Cancer Research 76(1): 139-49.

Veeraraghavan R, Lin J, Keener JP, Gourdie RG, Poelzing S. (2016). Potassium Channels in the Cx43 Gap Junction Perinexus Modulate Ephaptic Coupling: An Experimental and Modeling Study. Pflugers Archiv.

Kuczma M, Wang CY, Ignatowicz L, Gourdie RG, Kraj P. (2015). Altered connexin 43 expression underlies age-dependent decrease of regulatory T cell suppressor function in nonobese diabetic mice. Journal of Immunology 194(11): 5261-71.

Gourdie RG, Dimmeler S, Kohl P. (2015). Novel therapeutic strategies targeting fibroblasts in heart disease. Nature Reviews: Drug Discover.

Veeraraghavan R, Lin J, Hoeker GS, Keener JP*, Gourdie RG*, Poelzing S*. (2015). Sodium channels in the Cx43 gap junction perinexus may constitute a cardiac ephapse: an experimental and modeling study. Pflugers Archive - European Journal of Physiology.

Ghatnekar GS, Grek CL, Armstrong DG, Desai SC, Gourdie RG. (2015). The effect of a connexin43-based peptide on the healing of chronic venous leg ulcers: a multi center randomized trial. Journal of Investigative Dermatology (Nature) 135(1): 289-98.

Veeraraghavan R, Poelzing S, Gourdie RG. (2014). Novel ligands for zipping and unzipping the intercalated disk: today's experimental tools, tomorrow's therapies? Cardiovasc Res 104(2): 229-30.

Veeraraghavan R, Poelzing S, Gourdie RG. (2014). Intercellular electrical communication in the heart: a new, active role for the intercalated disk. Cell Commun Adhes.

Veeraraghavan R, Gourdie RG, Poelzing S. (2014). Mechanisms of Cardiac Conduction: A History of Revisions. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 306(5): H619-27.