Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Faculty Profiles
Conrad L Epting, MD

Conrad L Epting, MD

Associate Professor of Pediatrics (Critical Care) and Pathology

Focus of Work

Bio

I completed my BS at the University of Iowa in Biology, working alongside Steven Green studying PC12 cell neural differentiation. I completed Medical School at Johns Hopkins, followed by Pediatric Residency at the University of Colorado, working in the laboratory of Steve Abman to understand the evolution of pulmonary vascular disease in animal models. I took pediatric critical care training at UCSF with a Pediatric Scientist Develop Grant to with myogenic stem cell biology and muscle regenera...[Read full text]I completed my BS at the University of Iowa in Biology, working alongside Steven Green studying PC12 cell neural differentiation. I completed Medical School at Johns Hopkins, followed by Pediatric Residency at the University of Colorado, working in the laboratory of Steve Abman to understand the evolution of pulmonary vascular disease in animal models. I took pediatric critical care training at UCSF with a Pediatric Scientist Develop Grant to with myogenic stem cell biology and muscle regeneration with a focus on skeletal myogenesis as a model system in Harold Bernstein's lab. Following my training I stayed for a post-doctoral fellowship in the CVRI and in the Bernstein lab, and joined the faculty at Oakland Childrens in 2004 and UCSF in 2005. While in San Francisco I studied stem cell antigen-1, a GPI-anchored protein involved in secondary myogenesis following injury. In 2007, I moved to Northwestern University in Chicago to explore myocardial targeting by pathogens directed by surface GPI-anchored proteins, where I collaborated with David Engman to examine T. cruzi, the leading cause of heart failure in endemic regions of Latin America. As a practicing pediatric and cardiac intensivist, my research program has evolved to encompass the cell biology of pediatric heart failure and the response of the stem cell compartment, now with the collaboration of Paul Burridge in the Department of Pharmacology.[Shorten text]

Academic Focus

Strategies to promote cell and tissue regeneration remain at the forefront of cardiovascular biology. We have developed a research program exploring the response of the stem cell compartment to two critical processes, aging and heart failure, to better understand the impact of epigenetic modifications driving these acquired phenotypes.

As a pediatric and cardiac intensivist at Lurie Children’s hospital in Chicago, I am constantly challenged by patients with heart failure. Strategies to prom...[Read full text]
Strategies to promote cell and tissue regeneration remain at the forefront of cardiovascular biology. We have developed a research program exploring the response of the stem cell compartment to two critical processes, aging and heart failure, to better understand the impact of epigenetic modifications driving these acquired phenotypes.

As a pediatric and cardiac intensivist at Lurie Children’s hospital in Chicago, I am constantly challenged by patients with heart failure. Strategies to promote cell and tissue regeneration remain at the forefront of cardiovascular biology. We have developed a research program to explore the epigenetics of stem cell aging, recognizing that atrial stem cells taken from younger patients are more robust than those taken from adults. We are also exploring the regulatory networks operative in end-stage heart failure through ventricular sampling and transcriptome analysis. This early work has been supported by benefactors support and regional foundations. Our work and tissue collection naturally led us to the development of a Cardiac Biorepository at Lurie Children’s, which has led to new developments across the Heart Center and the institution. Our work will ideally add to the regional presence for our Heart Center through the additional of bench research, and will providing an ongoing forum for our trainees to gain skills in basic and translational research. The Fontan Futures program at Lurie Children's connects infants with critical forms of congenital heart disease to clinical-grade biobanking services through the Mathews Center for Cellular Therapy; aiming to permit regenerative strategies for the failing heart in years to come.

Cardiotropism, the affinity of an organism for the heart, is a poorly understood process shared by relatively few pathogens. Trypanosoma cruzi is the causative agent of Chagas disease, a neglected disorder of poverty throughout Latin America. A hallmark of Chagas disease is a progressive and fatal cardiomyopathy caused by parasite invasion and cardiac inflammation. One goal of my research program is to understand parasite cardiotropism through the dissection of the membrane-membrane interface between T. cruzi and cardiomyocytes. Ideally, identification of surface molecules enabling parasite cardiotropism will aid in the development of novel therapies for Chagas. This innovative work enjoys scientific collaboration from David Engman, an expert parasitologist, William Muller, an accomplished endothelial biologist, and Igor Almeida, a glycolipid parasite and proteomics biologist.[Shorten text]

Clinical Focus

Cardiac Intensive Care, Heart Failure, Pediatric Intensive Care Fellowship/GME education, research oversight, and career development

Keywords


Education and Certification

  • MD: Johns Hopkins University (1997)
  • Residency: University of Colorado Health Science Center, Pediatrics (2000)
  • Fellowship: University of California Medical Center, San Francisco/Parnassus, Pediatrics Critical Care Medicine (2004)
  • Board Certification: General Pediatrics, Pediatric Critical Care Medicine

Contact

Administrative office: 773-880-4780

Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago Box 73, Critical Care
225 E Chicago Avenue
Chicago IL 60611