Delbridge laboratory: Cardiac phenomics

Research Overview

Cardiac Phenomics

View Professor Delbridge's latest publications listing see Pubmed

The Cardiac Phenomics Laboratory research is about understanding how the heart response to stress can be managed to minimize the damaging impacts of a variety of disease conditions. We investigate responses of the working 'pumping' heart, of specialized muscle tissues and cells from different regions of the heart and of molecular signaling processes. As our name suggests, we look at how the cardiac 'genome' (the genetically defined heart) is translated in different stressor situations to create the 'phenome' (the structurally and functionally defined heart).

Our pre-clinical work focuses on cardiac pathology arising from Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes and on the factors which determine how female and male hearts respond differently to stress and disease challenges. These areas of heart health are of critical significance in shaping the demographics of cardiovascular disease. We use experimental models to mimic human disease conditions, and we look for links between the performance of single muscle cells and the functioning heart. Our goals are to inform the development of new treatments for diabetic cardiomyopathy and to understand how for women and men, cardiac 'difference' may be managed with optimized therapeutic tools.

Be sure to check out the American Journal of Physiology webcasts highlighting some of our research milestones:

Aromatase Modulates Cardiac Ischemic Stress Response (2014)

"Beyond vascular effects, can estrogen produced in the heart have an influence on cardiac function? Is the local action of aromatase conversion of testosterone to estrogen important for the stressed heart? Listen as Guest Editor Dr. Virginia Miller interviews lead author Lea Delbridge (University of Melbourne) and expert Fred Naftolin (New York University) about the exciting new work by Bell et al showing aromatase expression in the heart at both the messenger and protein level. Given that the human heart is sexually dimorphic, and that this may extend past development to actual function, what insightful differences did the authors find in male and female aromatase transgenic mouse hearts? Listen now."

Fructose diet-induced cardiomyocyte Ca2+ cycling abnormality (2012)

"In our latest podcast we explore the cardiac-specific effects of a high fructose diet. An inventive new study by Mellor et al investigates excitation contraction coupling changes in myocytes isolated from an experimental mouse model. These studies reveal, upon high fructose feeding, marked alterations in myocyte Ca2+ handling, but with maintained contractile function. Associate Editor Meredith Bond and leading expert Susan Howlett (Dalhousie University) interview senior author Lea Delbridge (University of Melbourne) about her exciting new work on diabetic cardiomyopathy."


Professor Lea M Delbridge, Head of Laboratory

Dr Claire L Curl, Research Fellow

Dr James R Bell, Research Fellow

William F Meeker, Lab Manager

Wendy TK Ip, PhD Student

Laura A Bienvenu, PhD Student

Upasna Varma, PhD Student

Chanchal Chandramouli, PhD Student

Gabriel B Bernasochi, PhD Student

AJ (Hanneke) Raaijmakers, PhD Student

Brendan Ma, PhD Student

Zelia Chan, PhD Student

Sarah E Heywood, PhD Student

Elizabeth K Fletcher, PhD Student

Rochelle S Sleaby, PhD Student


Kimberley M Mellor PhD

We closely collaborate with the Mellor Lab in New Zealand – with several jointly funded projects and shared student supervision. An alumnus of the Phenomics Lab, now establishing an independent research group in Auckland, Kim's investigative focus on various facets of diabetic cardiomyopathy is integral and complementary. Our Labs meet together regularly – virtually and in reality!

David I Stapleton PhD

David's work with the Phenomics Lab is key to developing our understanding of how glycogen is regulated metabolically and functionally in stress states. David has extensive experience in glycogen and protein structural analysis techniques, and in managing proteomic platform facilities.

Morag J Young PhD

Morag heads the Cardiovascular Endocrinology Lab at Prince Henry's Institute of Medical Research (MIMR-PHI). With our students, we collaborate to unravel the mysteries of glucocorticoid and mineralo corticoid signaling, using cardiac-targeted genetic models and drug intervention approaches.

Margaret A Brimble PhD,CNZM

As a Medicinal Chemist, Margaret has garnered high level recognition for her achievements leading the drug discovery programme in the Dept Chemical Sciences at U Auckland. She is working closely with us in the synthesis of designer peptides which incorporate glycated residues for our projects investigating diabetic cardiomyocyte AGE cardiopathology.

Rebecca H Ritchie PhD

Rebecca heads the Heart Failure Pharmacology Lab at the Baker Heart Research Institute (IDI) Melbourne. We collaborate extensively investigating diabetic cardiomyopathy – using genetics and treatments to evaluate the role of oxidative stress and altered glycolytic metabolism states.

Thierry Pedrazzini PhD

Thierry is our long-time collaborator, working with us to understand the local cardiac effects of angiotensin II exposure and the role of this peptide mediator in cardiac hypertrophy development and signaling. He leads the Experimental Cardiology Unit at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland.

Jeff R Erickson PhD

After relocating from the USA where he trained, Jeff has recently established a Lab at Otago University (NZ). Using exciting molecular imaging tools our goal is to unravel some of the complex cardiomyocyte signaling events in cardiac stress conditions involving CaMKII post-translational modifications.

Research Projects

School Research Themes

Cardio-Respiratory, Cell Signalling, Systems Biology, Molecular Mechanisms of Disease

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact Head of Laboratory Professor Lea Delbridge

Department / Centre


Unit / Centre

Delbridge laboratory: Cardiac phenomics

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