DMPI Senior Research Scientist Paul Grimsrud received a Career Development Award from the American Heart Association (AHA). This three-year grant recognizes young investigators exploring innovative questions in cardiovascular science and is intended to facilitate the transition from an early-stage research career to an established extramural funding portfolio.
Dr. Grimsrud’s research proposal, A Systems Biology Approach for Exploring the Role of PDK4 in Mediating Mitochondrial Remodeling in the Heart, aims to understand how heart mitochondria maintain a high rate of energy production in the face of normal and abnormal stresses, such as exercise and heart failure. The pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase 4 (PDK4) is a mitochondrial enzyme that is activated by energy stress and in turn regulates cardiac fuel selection. Whereas PDK4 is known to diminish glucose oxidation during times of carbohydrate restriction, Dr. Grimsrud suspects that this kinase plays a much broader role in energy metabolism than previously suggested. His working hypothesis stems from preliminary studies that used phosphoproteomics and metabolomics tools to reveal several unanticipated molecular signatures in hearts that overexpress PDK4. The proposed studies will build on these exciting findings through further application of mass spectrometry-based approaches along with complementary molecular biology strategies to define the full function of this enzyme in the context of health and disease.