After developing and validating accurate techniques to assess changes in cardiac myocyte shape and number, Martin Gerdes, Ph.D., defined how these cells remodel in physiological and pathological conditions. He demonstrated that the dilated, thin-walled ventricle characteristic of systolic heart failure was due to a maladaptive change in myocyte shape (increased length with no change in diameter) rather than slippage of myocytes past each other. In addition, Gerdes showed that chronic hypothyroidism alone can eventually lead to dilated heart failure with a maladaptive change in myocyte shape and impaired coronary blood flow. His research has shown that serum thyroid hormone levels may underestimate the true incidence of low cardiac tissue hormones in heart disease.
For the past decade, Gerdes' work has focused on the treatment of various animal models of heart failure with thyroid hormones. Several clinical studies have shown a link between increased mortality and low thyroid function in heart failure. Remarkable treatment benefits have been demonstrated in myocardial infarction, diabetes, hypertension, and idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy. He has developed a safe treatment/monitoring protocol that can be readily translated to patients and is awaiting clinical trials. Watch Gerdes discuss his research at the 2017 International Academy of Cardiovascular Sciences 22nd World Congress on Heart Disease.
Recent Projects & Research
- Effects of Safe, Oral T3 Treatment of Animal Models of Heart Failure, Including Myocardial Infarction, Diabetic Cardiomyopathy, and Hypertension (NIH grant RO1 HL103671)
Honors & Awards
- International Academy of Cardiology Hans Peter Krayenbuehl Memorial Award, 22nd World Congress on Heart Disease, Vancouver, 2017
- Distinguished Alumnus, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, UTMB at Galveston, 2013
- Medal of Merit. World Congress of International Society for Heart Research, Winnipeg, Canada, 2001
- South Dakota Board of Regents Award for Excellence in Research, 2000
- 30 Years of Funding from the National Institutes of Health as Principal Investigator Totaling More Than $30 Million
- Currently Serves on Seven Editorial Boards
Courses Taught at New York Tech
- Cardiovascular System