Paul M. Hwang, MD, PhD
Our laboratory studies some of the genetic determinants of cardiovascular function with a focus on the mitochondrion. We have identified tumor suppressor p53 as a regulator of mitochondrial respiration and a major determinant of aerobic capacity in transgenic mouse models. We are currently trying to understand the biological significance and molecular mechanisms underlying this seemingly disparate connection between a tumor suppressor gene and cardiovascular function. Our findings appear to highlight the dual importance of the mitochondrion in energy and oxidant homeostasis with implications for the two major causes of morbidity and mortality, cardiovascular diseases and tumorigenesis. We are also continuing to investigate genetic markers and mediators of atherosclerosis using basic experimental approaches and translational studies in the clinics.