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. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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
  5. Baker CN, Gidus S, Price G, Peoples J, and Ebert SN (2015) Impaired cardiac energy metabolism in embryos lacking adrenergic stimulation.  American Journal of Physiology, Endocrinology and Metabolism 308:402-13.
  6. Moreira-Rodrigues M, Graça AL, Ferreira M, Afonso J, Serrão P, Morato M, Ferreirinha F, Correia-de-Sá P, Ebert SN, Moura D. (2014) Attenuated Aortic Vasodilation and Sympathetic Prejunctional Facilitation in Epinephrine-Deficient Mice: Selective Impairment of β2-Adrenoceptor Responses. Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. 351:243-9. (COVER ILLUSTRATION)
  7. Baker CN, Katsandris R, Van C, and Ebert SN (2014) Adrenaline and Stress-Induced Cardiomyopathies: Three Competing Hypotheses for Mechanism(s) of Action.Chapter 4 (pp. 81-116) in book entitled, “Adrenaline: Production, Role in Disease and Stress, Effects on the Mind and Body”. Alfred Bennun, Editor. Nova Scientific Publishers, Inc.
  8. Baker CN and Ebert SN (2013) Development of aerobic metabolism in utero: requirement for mitochondrial function during embryonic and foetal periods.OA Biotechnology 2:16.
  9. Xia J, Varudkar N, Baker C, Abukenda I, Martinez C, Natarajan A, Grinberg A, Pfeifer K, and Ebert SN (2013) Targeting of the Enhanced Green Fluorescent Protein Reporter to Adrenergic Cells in Mice.Molecular Biotechnology 54:350-60.
  10. Osuala K, Baker C, Nguyen HL, Martinez C, Weinshenker D, and Ebert SN (2012) Physiological and genomic consequences of adrenergic deficiency during embryonic/fetal development in mice: impact on retinoic acid metabolism. Physiological Genomics44:934-947.

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;  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