Yuxiao Tan
Postdoctoral Research Associate

B.A. in Microbiology, Ohio Wesleyan University, 2017

The heart can shift its mechanical, morphological, and physiological parameters that dictate its function for compensatory or remedial purposes via cardiomyocytes. These cells can accommodate increased workload such as exercise or pregnancy to remodel the heart, a reversible and beneficial process recognized as physiological cardiac hypertrophy. In diseased-states, pathological cardiac hypertrophy occurs, which is a strong predictor of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. One striking example of physiological cardiac hypertrophy is the response of the Burmese python after eating a large meal, where the heart grows in mass by 40% within 48 to 72 hours and regresses to a little above its fasting size within the subsequent week with no overt pathology. I’m working to identify the mechanisms that regulate cardiac remodeling in the post-fed Burmese python, which provide knowledge for mammalian models that reverse or protect the heart from pathological stimuli.