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Dr. Sylvia Evans
Building a Heart: Cardiac Lineage Specification
Sylvia Evans, Ph.D.
Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
Department of Medicine
School of Medicine
Research Summary: Cardiac Lineage Specification
Dr. Evans’ research focuses on defining genetic pathways underlying heart development and to apply that understanding to both congenital and adult heart disease. A basic understanding of heart development is key toward understanding congenital heart disease and will inform potential cell-based therapies to repair diseased hearts. Building a functioning heart requires the specification and interaction of a number of cell lineages of distinct function. The Evans lab is trying to understand the stepwise process by which mesodermal precursors become committed to cardiac progenitors, and then specified to become distinct cardiac lineages.
The Evans lab is also studying several stem cell populations which give rise to distinct cardiovascular lineages. Model systems are mouse and embryonic stem cells. Dr. Evan’s lab has created a number of cre-expressing mouse models which will enable them to examine gene pathways required for specific cardiac lineages, including that of the proepicardial organ, cardiac fibroblasts, and the sino-atrial node. Another area of active interest is the formation of the coronary vasculature.
B.S. in Genetics (1979) University of Alberta; Ph.D. in Biochemistry (1984) University of British Colombia; Postdoc in Neuromolecular Biology (1988) The Salk Institute.
Awards and Honors:
Muscular Dystrophy Association Fellowship (1986-1988); Schulman Prize in Cardiovascular Research at UCSD (1998,1999, 2000); Lethbridge Collegiate Institute: Distinguished Graduate Award (1999); Invited participant in NIH Workshop to Determine Future Directions of Cardiovascular Research (2001); Member of American Heart Association Reclassification Task Force (2001); NIH Director’s Pioneer Award (2009).
Chair, AHA Western Affiliate Peer Review Committee (2000-2002) Chair, MSTP Admissions Committee (2004-2007); EngMed Initiative Executive Committee (2007); Director, UCSD Stem Cell Training Grant (2009).
- Pharmacokinetics (SPPS 226).
- Contemporary Topics in Pharmacology (SPPS 218A).
- Core Course in Stem Cell Biology, Medicine, and Ethics (CMM250).
- Cardiovascular System (SSPPS 231/SOMC 221).
- Molecular Biology of the Cardiovascular System (BE238/MED238).
- Individual Research for Undergraduates (BISP199).
- Ethics in Scientific Research (BIOM/PHARM 219).
- Renal Systems (SPPS 235/SOMC 225).