Timothy O'Toole, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Medicine

Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine

502-852-5886 tim.otoole@louisville.edu

Research Interests:

Dr. O'Toole's research interests focus on the function and regulation of the endothelium in various disease states. The endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) are a bone marrow-derived stem cell type that participate in neo-vascularization and wound repair. Upon ischemic insult or other vascular injury, these cells are mobilized from the bone marrow and home to the site of injury. The importance of these cells for vascular health has been suggested in several studies, which suggest that levels of these cells are inversely correlated with risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Accordingly, in preliminary studies it has been demonstrated that there is a mobilization defect of EPCs in murine models of diabetes and in humans or mice exposed to certain environmental pollutants. The efforts in Dr. O’Toole’s laboratory seek to better characterize these observations, understand their molecular basis, and seek therapeutic means to alleviate this defect. In other studies, Dr. O’Toole is interested in the role of miRNA in endothelial regulation. These ubiquitously expressed small RNA species are important regulators of protein expression. The cellular repertoire of miRNAs at any given time is influenced by differentiation state, growth properties, and external signals among others factors. Thus Dr. O’Toole is interested in understanding how diabetic conditions and pollutant exposure affects endothelial miRNA content and the consequent changes in protein expression levels and cellular function.

Selected Publications: