Skip Maas
Graduate Student

B.S. in Biology, University of Evansville, Evansville Indiana, 2020

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), a progressive inherited heart disease, is the leading cause of sudden death in young people. A prominent cause of HCM is mutations in cardiac myosin, a sarcomeric motor protein responsible for heart contraction. These mutations were conventionally thought to cause disease by altering the force with which each myosin pulls on actin to cause contraction. Recently, however, mutations in the rod domain have been shown to alter the number of myosin motors active at one time. These findings implicate the rod in a regulatory role during muscle contraction. I am interested in the myosin rod domain’s possible role in regulating the myosin motor and how perturbations of the rod can result in skeletal and cardiac disease.