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Integrative Studies of Stress Signaling in Mammals
The Joseph Garcia Lab at the Columbia University Irving Medical Center studies how the body responds to low oxygen and nutrient conditions, adverse states present in patients suffering from stroke, heart attack, anemia, or other conditions associated with reduced blood flow. We are particularly interested in how the body orchestrates defense mechanisms, which involves stress signaling mechanisms operating at the cell, organ, and system level to coordinate these protective responses. We use molecular, biochemical, cellular, and animal studies to determine how stress signaling is activated and to identify physiological processes controlled by these pathways.
Environmental stimuli, such as oxygen or glucose deprivation, alter cellular metabolism to elicit a stress response at the cellular level. At the intersection of these spheres are stress signaling pathways, which integrate external and internal stimuli with alterations in genetic and epigenetic signatures. The net effect of these interactions impacts not only cellular function, but also affects the organism in an organ and systems manner. Understanding how this process works will provide novel insights into mammalian physiology as well as translational opportunities for improved patient care.
Joseph A. Garcia, MD, PhD
Dr. Joseph Garcia is a physician-scientist in the Cardiology Division of the Department of Medicine. He obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the California Institute of Technology. After obtaining a combined MD,PhD degree from UCLA as a member of the Medical Scientist Training Program, he moved to the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (UTSW) where he completed a residency in Internal Medicine and a fellowship in Cardiology. He joined the UTSW faculty and obtained a rank of Professor of Internal Medicine before being recruited to Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) in 2018. Since 2008, Dr. Garcia has also been employed as a staff-physician in the Department of Veterans Affairs. Dr. Garcia currently has research operations at CUMC and James J. Peters VAMC (JJP VAMC). He treats general cardiology patients at JJP VAMC.