DeWayne Townsend, DVM, PhD

Associate Professor, Department of Integrative Biology and Physiology (IBP)

DeWayne Townsend

Contact Info

Office Phone 612-625-6873

Fax 612-625-5149

Office Address:
3-140 CCRB
2231 6th St. SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Mailing Address:
Cancer & Cardiovascular Research Building
2231 6th St. SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Lab Address:
3-220 CCRB
644 21st Avenue SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Post Doctoral Fellowship, University of Michigan (Cardiovascular Physiology), 2007

PhD, University of Minnesota (Veterinary Medicine, DVM and Physiology), 2003

BA, St. Olaf College (Chemistry), 1995


Research Summary/Interests

My laboratory utilizes an integrative approach to study the pathophysiological mechanisms of heart failure, with a specific focus on dystrophic cardiomyopathies. Patients with many forms of muscular dystrophy also have significant cardiac disease. Interestingly, several of the proteins associated with these dystrophic cardiomyopathies have also been implicated in heart failure resulting from more common causes (i.e., ischemic heart disease). Duchenne muscular dystrophy, the most common form of muscular dystrophy, is caused by mutations in the protein dystrophin. Dystrophin is a large protein that spans from the intracellular cytoskeletal actin lattice to a complex of glycoproteins in the sarcolemmal membrane, which in turn binds to the extracellular matrix. It functions both as a mechanical shock absorber and scaffold for a large array of signaling molecules. We study heart disease at varying levels of biological complexity including intact animals, isolated organs, and indivdual adult cardiomyocytes to obtain insights into disease mechanisms. We also probe molecular physiology, utilizing biochemical methodologies, transgenesis, and in vivo gene transfer. This highly integrated approach provides unique insights into the pathophysiology of heart disease and ultimately will enable us to develop novel therapeutic approaches. Townsend Lab website Link


PUBMED Link to Publications

  • Townsend D, Turner I, Yasuda S, Martindale J, Shillingford M, Kornegay JN and Metzger JM. Severe cardiac injury and ventricular dilatation in dystrophic dogs prevented by chronic administration of membrane sealants. J. Clin. Invest. doi:10.1172/JCI41329.
  • Townsend, D., Yasuda, S., Chamberlain, J., and Metzger, J.M. Cardiac consequences to skeletal muscle-centric therapeutics for Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Trends Cardiovasc. Med. 19(2):50-55, 2009
  • Townsend, D., Yasuda, S., Li, S., Chamberlain, J.S., and Metzger, J.M. Emergent dilated cardiomyopathy by targeted repair of dystrophic skeletal muscle. Molecular Therapy 16(5):832-5, 2008.
  • Townsend, D., Blankinship, M.J., Allen, J.M., Gregorevic, P., Chamberlain, J.S., and Metzger J.M. Systemic administration of micro-dystrophin restores cardiac geometry and prevents dobutamine-induced cardiac pump failure. Molecular Therapy 15(6):1086-92, 2007.
  • Chamberlain, J.S., Metzger, J.M., Reyes, M., Townsend, D., and Faulkner, J.A. Dystrophin-deficient mdx mice display a reduced lifespan and are susceptible to spontaneous rhabdomyosarcoma. FASEB J 21(9):2195-204, 2007.
  • Townsend, D., Yasuda, S., and Metzger, J. Cardiomyopathy of Duchenne muscular dystrophy: pathogenesis and prospect of membrane sealants as a new therapeutic approach. Expert Rev Cardiovasc Ther 5(1):99-109, 2007.
  • Townsend, D.*, Yasuda, S.*, Michele, D.E., Farve, E.G., Day, S.M., and Metzger, J.M. Dystrophic heart failure blocked by membrane sealant poloxamer. Nature 436(7053):1025-9, 2005. *-indicates co-first authors.