Joseph M. Metzger is Professor and Chair of Integrative Biology and Physiology at the University of Minnesota Medical School. Following graduate studies at Marquette University and postdoctoral training at the University of Wisconsin, Dr. Metzger commenced his tenure-track Assistant Professor career at the University of Michigan. At Michigan, he was director of the Center for Integrative Genomics and Associate Chair of the Department of Molecule and Integrative Physiology. In 2008, he was appointed as the Maurice B. Visscher Land-Grant Endowed Chair of Physiology and Professor and inaugural Chair of the Department of Integrative Biology and Physiology at the University of Minnesota Medical School.
Dr. Metzger’s research centers on the mechanistic underpinnings of heart function with the aim of translating findings to new therapeutic modalities for remediation of acquired and inherited cardiac diseases. His work uses state-of-the-art genetic, cell and chemical-based technologies to interrogate heart performance. The overarching goal is to begin discovery at the gene, protein, and test-tube levels with a major aim of using integrative physiological approaches to unravel the intricacies of myocardial function in health and disease.
His laboratory has forwarded a number of advances including molecular development of a cardiac “Guardian Angel” histidine button in the sarcomere for the ischemic and failing heart and a chemical-based “Molecular Band-Aid” for dystrophic cardiomyopathy in muscular dystrophy. His lab reported a major pre-clinical study on how long-term intravascular delivery of a membrane sealant “Molecular band-aid” poloxamer blocked cardiac injury and emergence of heart failure biomarkers, and prevented progressive left ventricular dilated cardiomyopathy in the severely affected canine model of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. The Metzger lab is deeply committed to moving basic research insights forward. The Metzger lab's ultimate long-range goal is to implement an entire new class of cardio-protective strategies that one day could positively impact the lives of human patients.