Specific Research Foci:

    • Molecular genetic regulation of stress hormone production and activity in heart development
    • Impact of environmentally-induced stressors (e.g., alcohol intoxication) on heart development
    • Stress-induced epigenetic modifications of cardiovascular gene programs that affect heart development
    • Role of sex steroid hormone influence on stress responses in the aging heart

Clinical Disease Relevance:

  • Congenital Heart Defects (CHD affects ~1% of all live births = ~40,000 infants/year in the United States)
  • Tetralogy of Fallot (TOF is a form of CHD of unknown causes affecting nearly 1 in every 2500 US births)
  • Heart Failure (HF is contributing factor in 25% of all deaths = ~610,000 people/year in the United States)
  • “Broken Heart Syndrome” (BHS affects Women’s Health, with >80% of cases postmenopausal women)

Stress impacts our health in significant ways beginning at the earliest stages of development and continuing throughout our entire lives, yet we have relatively meager understanding of how stressful events transform what may be beneficial short-term effects into damaging long-term health consequences.  My laboratory studies the role of primary stress hormones such as adrenaline and noradrenaline in relation to cardiovascular health and disease at vulnerable early (embryonic) and late (postmenopausal) stages of development.  To accomplish our research objectives, we use a variety of experimental model systems, clinical data collection/analysis, and cutting-edge technologies/methods as highlighted below in our recent publications.

Selected Recent Publications

  1. Nelson JS, Kwok C, Braganca NE, Lopez DL, Espina Rey AP, Robinson M, Ebert SN (2022) Comparison of DNA methylation patterns across tissue types in infants with tetralogy of Fallot.  Birth Defects Res. 114(17):1101-1111.
  2. Abraham S, Lindo C, Peoples J, Cox A, Lytle E, Nguyen V, Mehta M, Alvarez JD, Yooseph S, Pacher P, Ebert SN (2022) Maternal binge alcohol consumption leads to distinctive acute perturbations in embryonic cardiac gene expression profiles.  Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 1433-1448.
  3. Kashyap S, Mukker A, Gupta D, Datta PK, Rappaport J, Jacobson JM, Ebert SN, Gupta MK (2021) Antiretroviral Drugs Regulate Epigenetic Modification of Cardiac Cells Through Modulation of H3K9 and H3K27 Acetylation. Front Cardiovasc Med.  8:634774.
  4. de Souza Cordeiro LM, Elsheikh A, Devisetty N, Morgan DA, Ebert SN, Rahmouni K, Chhabra KH (2021) Hypothalamic MC4R regulates glucose homeostasis through adrenaline-mediated control of glucose reabsorption via renal GLUT2 in mice.  Diabetologia 64(1):181-194.
  5. González-Santana A, Castañeyra L, Baz-Dávila R, Estévez-Herrera J, Domínguez N, Méndez-López I, Padín JF, Castañeyra A, Machado JD, Ebert SN, Borges R (2020) Adrenergic chromaffin cells are adrenergic even in the absence of epinephrine.  J Neurochem. 152(3):299-314.
  6. Fan X, Sun T, Crawford W, Tan X, Ou X, Terrar DA, Ebert SN, Lei M. (2019) Pnmt-Derived Cardiomyocytes: Anatomical Localization, Function and Future Perspectives.  Front Physiol. 10:713.
  7. Peoples JNR, Maxmillian T, Le Q, Nadtochiy SM, Brookes PS, Porter GA Jr, Davidson VL, Ebert SN. (2018)  Metabolomics reveals critical adrenergic regulatory checkpoints in glycolysis and pentose-phosphate pathways in embryonic heart.  J Biol Chem. 2018 May 4;293(18):6925-6941.
  8. Flores DJ, Duong T, Brandenberger LO, Mitra A, Shirali A, Johnson JC, Springer D, Noguchi A, Yu ZX, Ebert SN, Ludwig A, Knollmann BC, Levin MD, Pfeifer K. (2018)  Conditional ablation and conditional rescue models for Casq2 elucidate the role of development and of cell-type specific expression of Casq2 in the CPVT2 phenotype.  Hum Mol Genet. 2018 May 1;27(9):1533-1544.
  9. Peoples JN, Taylor DG, Katchman AN, Ebert SN. (2018) Intact calcium signaling in adrenergic-deficient embryonic mouse hearts.  Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2018 Jan 22;495(4):2547-2552.
  10. Wang Y, Lin WK, Crawford W, Ni H, Bolton EL, Khan H, Shanks J, Bub G, Wang X, Paterson DJ, Zhang H, Galione A, Ebert SN, Terrar DA, Lei M. (2017) Optogenetic Control of Heart Rhythm by Selective Stimulation of Cardiomyocytes Derived from Pnmt+Cells in Murine Heart. Sci Rep. 2017 Jan 13;7:40687

For more publication information, please visit Pubmed.

Keywords:  Stress, Hormones, Cardiovascular, Embryonic, Development, Women’s Health, Congenital, Heart


Education & Specialties

Postdoctoral Fellow: Developmental and Molecular Neuroscience; Â Stanford University School of Medicine

PhD: Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology; The Ohio State University

BS, with Honors: Interdisciplinary Studies in Biochemistry and Neuroscience; The University of Florida