Thomas Jefferson University Research Magazine



The ability of a cardiac cell to work hard and continuously depends on the energy-producing function of its mitochondria. Calcium is key to proper mitochondrial function—but only in the right amounts. Too much calcium leads to cell death; too little suppresses production of the fuel a cell needs to function.

Research collaborators Shey-Shing Sheu, PhD, professor of medicine, and Gyorgy Csordas, MD, research associate professor of pathology, anatomy and cell biology, are studying the mechanisms by which cardiac mitochondria use calcium and other molecules. And they are shedding light on how dysfunction in those mechanisms contribute to ischemic heart disease, cardiac arrhythmias and heart failure. Currently, Drs. Sheu and Csordas are engaged in three related NIH-funded studies.