Leslie Leinwand
Professor
Molecular Cellular & Developmental Biology

JSCBB Room D312

We conduct research on cardiac and skeletal muscle with emphasis on genetic diseases involving them. We found that diet has the most potent effect on mouse hearts of any stimulus we have studied. Males exercise less than females in response to a given amount of exercise when both genders are fed soy but not when both are fed casein. We are exploring how soy estrogens regulate cardiac growth. We have determined the role of estrogen receptors in these phytoestrogen-mediated events. We have recently documented strong interdependence of cardiac and skeletal muscle adaptation and are doing experiments to define the molecular mechanisms of such cross-talk. Finally, we established a model of extreme physiologic cardiac growth and regression in the Burmese python where hearts double in size within 48 hours following a meal and then regress to pre-feeding size just as quickly. A factor in the serum of the post-fed python induces cellular hypertrophy in rat cardiac cells.