Our lab studies the heart as a model for understanding molecular mechanisms that drive cell growth, phenotypic reprogramming, and death.  Heart muscle cells (cardiomyocytes) stop replicating shortly after birth. Therefore, their proliferative or hypertrophic growth is regulated during different developmental stages by distinct gene programs.  Our team examines how altered genetic programming leading to pathological cardiomyocyte growth or programmed cell death contributes to diseases such as cardiac hypertrophy, hypertrophic and dilated cardiomyopathy, and heart failure.  Because the processes that orchestrate cardiomyocyte growth, morphogenesis, and programmed death are highly conserved across evolution we employ multiple biological platforms to identify and interrogate critical factors.  Typically, we use human genetics/genomics to uncover a candidate factor and then dissect the pathway in cultured cells, genetically engineered fruit flies, and/or mice.  By creating animal disease models that recapitulate the human condition, and by integrating genomics, proteomics, and bioinformatics with physiological analyses at the organelle, cell, organ, and intact animal level, we derive mechanistic insights that drive novel clinical diagnostics and candidate therapeutics.  Our long-term goal is to understand the complex interactions that modulate genetic and epigenetic reprogramming in the heart, and to apply this information to novel small molecular or genetic therapeutics for heritable and acquired human cardiac disease.

Ours is a scientifically and culturally diverse program comprised of talented students, postdoctoral fellows, and research associates.  We emphasize scientific creativity and multidisciplinary collaborations within and between different laboratories.  Students and postdoctoral fellows typically first engage in an ongoing study and use this as a platform to develop their own independent project, providing a strong foundation for scientific success.

Current Projects

  • Dorn Lab

    While this page is under construction, please visit Dr. Dorn’s lab by clicking here


  • Gerald_Dorn
    Gerald W Dorn II MD
    Philip and Sima K. Needleman...
  • gong
    Guohua Gong
    Postdoc Research Associate
  • lihong
    Lihong Zhang
    Research Technician II
  • aileen4
    Aiwu Lu
    Research Technician II
  • moshi4
    Moshi Song
    Graduate Research Assistant
  • Poonam_Bhandari
    Poonam Bhandari PhD
    Senior Scientist
  • Yingqiu_Liu
    Yingqiu Liu
    Research Technician II


9th Annual Medical School Art Show Including Art by Gerald Dorn

The School of Medicine’s 9th Annual Art Show opened Jan. 22 and ran through Feb. 17 in the Farrell Learning and Teaching Center atrium. The show was presented by the WUSM Arts Commission. This year’s show features artwork from more than 60 artists from the School of Medicine.  Dr. Dorn's sculpture is pictured below.   read more...

Contact Information

Lab location:
760 McDonnell Medical Sciences Bldg
Tel: 314-362-4892
Fax: 314-362-8844

Mailing Address:
Center for Pharmacogenomics
Washington University School of Medicine
660 S. Euclid Ave, Campus Box 8220
St. Louis, MO 63110

Shipping Address:
Center for Pharmacogenomics
Washington University in St. Louis
4566 Scott Avenue
Room 751, McDonnell Medical Sciences Bldg
St. Louis, MO 63110