Led by principal investigator Jessica Pfleger, Ph.D., the Pfleger Lab seeks to understand the molecular mechanisms that drive cardiovascular diseases, which represent the most lethal illnesses worldwide. In particular, the lab investigates the regulation of gene expression in response to cellular stimulation or stress, which can be both adaptive and maladaptive. In energetically demanding cells, such as cardiomyocytes, metabolic state is a critical determinant of cellular health. Accordingly, metabolism is emerging as a critical regulator of transcription and gene expression. To investigate this process, the lab has several ongoing projects. These include detailed characterization of known metabolic transcriptional regulators, such as forkhead box protein (FOX)O1, as well as the identification of novel metabolic transcriptional regulators. Additionally, the lab examines the effect of metabolism on chromatin remodeling by investigating how novel metabolite-derived functional groups modify histones. To address these important biological questions, we employ cutting-edge, genomic techniques. The lab's vision is that an in-depth understanding of the intricate biology of the heart will lead development of innovative and effective therapies for disease.