Ralphe Research Group

Our Research Group is interested in understanding how mutations in genes encoding important regulatory proteins within cardiac cells lead to the development of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Studies focus primarily on mutations in cardiac myosin binding protein C (cMyBP-C), a protein that regulates contractility and functional reserve of the heart. Mutations in cMyBP-C are recognized as a leading cause of familial hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

Our current approaches employ a novel 3D engineered cardiac tissue model using late fetal or early neonatal mouse cardiomyocytes from which we gather molecular, metabolic, and contractile data. Using human-derived induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells) we can study cardiomyocytes from individuals carrying specific HCM-associated mutations. Our living integrated cardiac tissue model can be applied to understanding normal and abnormal physiology as well as identifying the impact of known or unknown compounds on cardiac performance.

The lab is equipped with standard and high-throughput molecular tools as well as two physiology work stations that measure muscle contractility (twitch force amplitude and kinetics of contraction and relaction). The first is equipped with a high speed length controller to dynamically mimic loading conditions and a force transducer integrated with an IonOptix system for measuring dynamic intracellular signaling events including calcium transients and NADH oxidation. The second station is designed to measure oxygen consumption and metabolic activity while gathering simultaneous force data. With these tools we can measure simultaneous intracellular events and integrated tissue contractile performance.

The lab is located in the state-of-the-art Wisconsin Institute for Medical Research (WIMR) on the campus of UW-Madison.

Wisconsin Institute for Medical Research (WIMR)

The Ralphe lab offers an ideal learning environment for undergraduates, PhD and MD-PhD students, and Fellows. The collaborative setting supports highly motivated individuals along their path towards an independent scientific career.

Lab News

  • What We Published In May 2020

    Al Dhaheri N, Wu N, Zhao S, Wu Z, Blank RD, Zhang J, Raggio C, Halanski M, Shen J, Noonan K, Qiu G, Nemeth B, Sund S, Dunwoodie SL, Chapman G, Glurich I, Steiner RD, Wohler …

  • Pediatrics Research Week 2020 Abstract Book Now Available

    The Pediatrics Research Week 2020 Abstract Book is now available. University of Wisconsin Department of Pediatrics faculty, staff, fellows and residents submitted over 50 research abstracts for the virtual conference, which is taking place May 26-29, 2020. …

  • What We Published in April 2020

    1. Ascierto PA, Fox B, Urba W, Anderson AC, Atkins MB, Borden EC, Brahmer J, Butterfield LH, Cesano A, Chen D, de Gruijl T, Dillman RO, Drake CG, Emens LA, Gajewski TF, Gulley JL, Stephen …

  • Save the Date: Virtual Pediatrics Research Week Begins 5/26/20

    In response to COVID-19, the Department of Pediatrics’ annual Research Week will offer alternative programming to spotlight the scholarly work from its residents, fellows, faculty and staff. Through a mix of livestreamed lectures and interactive …

  • What We Published in March 2020

    Coller RJ, Berry JG, Kuo DZ, Kuhlthau K, Chung PJ, Perrin JM, Hoover CG,Warner G, Shelton C, Thompson LR, Garrity B, Stille CJ. Health System Research Priorities for Children and Youth With Special Health Care …

  • More News...

J. Carter Ralphe, MD

J. Carter Ralphe, MD
Associate Professor
jcralphe@pediatrics.wisc.edu