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Henry M. Sucov Ph.D.

Henry M Sucov Ph.D.

Endowed Chair, SmartState Endowed Chair in Biofabrication

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Rank
  • Professor
College
  • College of Medicine
Department
  • Regenerative Medicine and Cell Biology
Academic Focus
  • Heart regeneration, genetics, and pathophysiology
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Biography

Dr. Sucov received his PhD degree from the California Inst. of Technology (CalTech) in 1989, studying molecular mechanisms of embryonic cell specification and differentiation. His postdoc training at the Salk Institute focused on the embryological roles of nuclear receptors and their molecular mechanisms of action. He began as faculty at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine in 1995, and progressed from Assistant to Associate to full Professor over the ensuing 23 years, in the Dept. of Cell Biology, Dept. of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and Dept. of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Biology. During this time, he also served as the Interim Director of the USC Broad Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research, was the founding Director of the MS program in Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, and served as the System Chair for the Embryology component of the USC medical curriculum. He relocated to the Medical University of South Carolina in January 2019, where he is a SmartState Professor in the Dept. of Regenerative Medicine and Cell Biology and in the Dept. of Medicine, Division of Cardiology.

 

Research Summary

The Sucov lab uses advanced genetic strategies to identify pathways and processes that influence cardiomyocyte proliferation and heart regeneration. A common adult heart injury is a myocardial infarction (heart attack), which results in loss of myocardium. In typical circumstances, this lost tissue is not regenerated, which leads to compromised function and can progress to heart failure (the leading cause of death in the US and globally). In contrast, fetal and neonatal hearts can fully regenerate after injury. The Sucov lab addresses fundamental basic questions about heart biology: what causes cardiomyocytes after birth to become postmitotic, why does this occur, would there be detrimental consequences if adult hearts were more highly regenerative? They have developed completely new paradigms and unique experimental strategies to explain these aspects of heart biology. In addition, they apply their insights to address the obvious clinical need to develop better therapeutic options in the aftermath of a heart attack. The lab primarily studies heart biology in mice, although also makes use of cell-based approaches and other experimental animal models, and the work has surprisingly extensive application to human genetics and human heart pathophysiology.

 

Click the "Research Profile" button above to link to the Sucov lab website.