Dr. Srivastava’s research interests include understanding the causes of heart disease and using knowledge of cardiac developmental pathways to devise novel therapeutics for human cardiac disorders. His laboratory studies the molecular events regulating early and late developmental decisions that instruct progenitor cells to adopt a cardiac cell fate and subsequently fashion a functioning heart. These pathways may be useful in preventing congenital defects and treating acquired heart disease, particularly with cardiac-specific differentiation of embryonic stem cells. Dr. Srivastava’s lab has leveraged knowledge from developmental biology to reprogram non-muscle connective tissue in the heart directly into cells that function like heart muscle cells for regenerative purposes. Dr. Srivastava is also interested in identifying the causes of human cardiovascular disease by applying modern genetic and stem cell technologies. Such approaches to model disease in human cells promise to yield new therapies, and Dr. Srivastava has co-founded a biotechnology company to help find new cures for many human diseases.
Researchers in Dr. Srivastava’s laboratory have revealed a network of transcriptional, translational and signaling events that control the early steps of cardiomyocyte differentiation and expansion, including those involving microRNAs. His laboratory has used human genetics to discover the cause of some human cardiac septal defects and valve diseases, revealing that mutations in genes that control key networks result in cardiac anomalies. One of the developmental genes has potent properties for cardioprotection and is currently in clinical trials for patients suffering ischemic damage to the heart. Dr. Srivastava’s laboratory has trained more than 35 postdoctoral fellows and graduate students.
Before joining Gladstone, Dr. Srivastava was a Professor in the Department
of Pediatrics and Molecular Biology at the University of Texas Southwestern (UTSW) Medical Center in Dallas. He has received numerous honors and awards, including endowed chairs at both UTSW and UCSF, as well as election to the American Society for Clinical Investigation, the Society for Pediatric Research and most recently to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2012, Dr. Srivastava presented the prestigious George E. Brown Memorial lecture to the American Heart Association.
Dr. Srivastava completed his medical training at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston and his residency in the Department of Pediatrics at UCSF. He also did a fellowship in pediatric cardiology at the Children’s Hospital of Harvard Medical School and a postdoctoral fellowship at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston as a Pediatric Scientist Development Program fellow, before joining the faculty at UTSW in 1996.