Kenneth D. Bloch, MD
I established my laboratory in the MGH Cardiac Unit in 1990 and became a principal investigator in the CardiovascularResearchCenter in 1992. In 2007, I joined the Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care, and Pain Medicine at MGH, while maintaining an active presence in the Cardiology Division, CardiovascularResearchCenter, and Department of Medicine. My laboratory has long-standing interests in the mechanisms regulating pulmonary vascular and ventricular remodeling and the role of BMP signaling in cardiovascular homeostasis. During the course of these studies, we have developed and characterized murine models of a broad spectrum of cardiopulmonary disorders including myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure, pulmonary hypertension, and acute lung injury.
In an exciting collaboration with Randall Peterson PhD and Paul B. Yu MD PhD, we identified the first known small molecule inhibitors of BMP signaling. Using these inhibitors, we elucidated critical roles for BMP signaling in a variety of important diseases including heterotopic ossification, anemia of inflammation, atherosclerosis, and vascular calcification. In October 2010, I was named the American Coordinator of a multicenter LeDucq Network grant entitled, “Multidisciplinary Program to Elucidate the Role of Bone Morphogenetic Protein Signaling in the Pathogenesis of Pulmonary and Systemic Vascular Diseases.”
Since 2008, I have been fortunate to collaborate with Drs. Thomas Wang and Christopher Newton-Cheh in studies of the mechanisms by which genetic variants in the NPPA/NPPB gene locus modulate natriuretic peptide levels and contribute to the regulation of blood pressure. One of these genetic variants, rs5068 lies in the NPPA 3’ untranslated region (3’UTR). My laboratory identified and functionally characterized a microRNA, miR-425, that targets the NPPA 3’ UTR when it is encoded by the rs5068 major allele but not when it is encoded by the minor allele. Ongoing studies are directed towards understanding how microRNAs regulate natriuretic peptide biosynthesis and the pathophysiologic effects of modulating microRNA signaling.
Between 1990 and 2006, I served as the primary research mentor for the MGH cardiology fellows guiding them to, and supporting them in, the best research training opportunities HMS has to offer. Since 2002, I have served as principal investigator of the NIH-sponsored T32 training grant awarded to the CardiovascularResearchCenter. In this role, I supervise the mentoring and career development of 10 post-doctoral cardiovascular scientists each year.
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