Research Areas

Joshua Goldhaber, MD, NIH-supported laboratory studies the basic science of heart muscle contraction with a special emphasis on understanding how the strength of heart muscle is regulated at the cellular and molecular levels (excitation-contraction coupling). The overarching goal is to find ways to help diseased heart muscle perform beyond expectations.

Calcium sparks during MI
(line scan, confocal).


Ongoing projects include the study of:

  • The effects of metabolic inhibition on excitation-contraction coupling: subcellular Ca and biophysical properties of cellular couplons;
  • Post-infarct remodeling and its effect on couplon recruitment;
  • The role of sodium-calcium exchange in microscopic excitation-contraction coupling in ventricular and atrial muscle;
  • Cardiac pacemaker activity and its regulation by sodium-calcium exchange;
  • The internal membrane structure of cardiac cells and abnormalities caused by remodeling post-infarction;
  • Excitation-contraction coupling during cardiac development and in stem cells;
  • The influence of mitochondrial sodium-calcium exchange on cellular metabolism;
  • The development of new techniques in laser scanning confocal microscopy and multiphoton microscopy utilizing targeted molecular sensors.

These studies should help us understand basic aspects of cardiac cell function that will enable us to develop new paradigms for treatment of heart failure, post-infarct remodeling, and bradycardia.