Robert Gourdie, Ph.D.

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

Lab

Gourdie Lab

Watch this short video about the lab. All BEAM videos available here.

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.

Education

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

Awards, Honors, and Service

  • FirstString Research, Inc.: won the Tibbets Small Business Administration prize in 2017 and presented in a ceremony at the White House in Jan 2018.
  • 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

Schultz F Swiatlowska P, Alvarez-Laviada, Song Q1, Sanchez-Alonso JL, de Vries AAF, Pijnappels DA, Ongstad E, Braga V, Entcheva E, Gourdie RG, Miragoli M, Gorelik J. Cardiomyocyte-myofibroblast contact dynamism modulated by connexin-43. FASEB J. 2019 Sep

Jiang J, Hoagland D, Palatinus JA, He H, Iyyathurai J, Jourdan LJ, Bultynck G, Wang Z, Zhang Z, Schey K, Poelzing S, McGowan FX, Gourdie RG. Interaction of a Carboxyl Terminus 1 Peptide with the Connexin 43 Carboxyl Terminus Preserves Left Ventricular Function After Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury. Journal of American Heart Association. 2019 Aug 20

Hoagland DT, Santos W, Poelzing S, Gourdie RG. The role of the gap junction perinexus in cardiac conduction: Potential as a novel anti-arrhythmic drug target. Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology. 2019 July

George SA, Hoeker G, Calhoun PJ, Entz M 2nd, Raisch TB, King DR, Khan M, Baker C, Gourdie RG, Smyth JW, Nielsen MS, Poelzing S. Modulating Cardiac Conduction During Metabolic Ischemia with Perfusate Sodium and Calcium in Guinea Pig Hearts. American Journal of Physiology: Heart and Circulatory Physiology. 2019 April

Gourdie, RG. The Cardiac Gap Junction has Discrete Functions in Electrotonic and Ephaptic Coupling, The Anatomical Record (Hoboken) 2019 Jan

Jiang J PJ, HE H, Jourdan LJ, Hoagland D, Bultynck G, Wang Z, Zhang Z, Schey K, Poelzing S, McGowan FX, Gourdie RG. Targeting the Cx43 Carboxyl Terminal H2 Domain Preserves Left Ventricular Function Following Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury. BioRxiv. 2019

Roberts R, Smyth S, Ghatnekar GS, Zhi Sheng Z, Gourdie RG et al. Development of PLGA nanoparticles for sustained release of a Connexin43 mimetic peptide to target glioblastoma cells Materials Science & Engineering C, in press, doi.org/10.1016/j.msec.2019.110191, 2019.

Hoagland, DT, Santos Webster, Poelzing S, Gourdie RG. The role of the gap junction perinexus in cardiac conduction: Potential as a novel anti-arrhythmic drug target. Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology. 2018 Sept 18

Veeraraghavan R, Hoeker GS, Alvarez-Laviada A, Hoagland D, Wan X, King DR, Sanchez-Alonso J, Chen C, Jourdan, J, Isom LL, Deschenes L, Smyth J, Gorelik J, Poelzing S, Gourdie RG. The Adhesion Function of the Sodium Channel Beta Subunit (β1) Contributed to Cardiac Action Potential Propagation.  eLife. 2018 Aug 14

Raisch TB, Yanoff MS, Larsen TR, Farooqui MA, King DR, Veeraraghavan R, Gourdie RG, Baker JW, Arnold WS, AlMahameed ST, Poelzing S. Intercalated Disc Extracellular Nanodomain Expansion in Patients with Atrial Fibrillation. Frontiers in Physiology. 2018 May 4