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Joseph D. Powers PhD

Laboratory Medicine & Pathology, Mechanical Engineering
Assistant Professor

Email: powersjd@uw.edu | Phone: 206.221.5035

The Powers Lab is focused on discovering and understanding mechanisms that underlie various forms of heart disease and heart failure. A common precursor to heart failure is an architectural remodeling of the cells and tissue that comprise the heart, but the subcellular biological processes that drive pathological cardiac remodeling are not currently understood. However, like most cells, the morphology and functionality of heart cells depend on the mechanical properties of the microenvironments both inside and outside of the cells. As such, the Powers Lab is particularly interested in multiscale mechanical signal transmission and transduction that regulates cardiac morphology and contractility, and how these signals are affected by disease. To investigate this, we use stem cell-derived heart cells and engineered mouse models to recapitulate aspects of human cardiac pathologies in the lab, and we employ a combination of in-vitro biomechanical assays, quantitative imaging, genetic analyses, and theoretical computational models. Our long-term goal is to leverage our knowledge of cardiac mechanobiology and pathology to develop new therapies that can prevent and/or reverse pathological remodeling in patients with heart disease.