Joseph Metzger
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Credentials
PhD

Professor, Department Head and Chair
Biography

Bio

Joseph M. Metzger, Ph.D., is the Maurice Visscher Land-Grant Chair of Physiology and Professor and Head of Integrative Biology and Physiology at the University of Minnesota Medical School. The Metzger laboratory uses molecular and integrative biomedical approaches for mechanistic investigations of heart and skeletal muscle function, with the long-range goal of translating these findings to new therapies and treatments for acquired and inherited heart and muscle diseases.
Metzger Lab Mission Statement: We seek mechanistic insights into normal and diseased cardiac and skeletal muscle function. Our overarching goal is to translate basic science discoveries into potential therapeutic strategies to combat inherited and acquired forms of heart and muscle diseases. Lab projects embrace individuality, emphasize cooperation and collaboration, and encompass a standard of excellence to all that we do as individual researchers and as a laboratory. Our guiding principles are to treat others with respect and courtesy, to maintain the lab in a collegial, safe and professional environment, and to work each day to the fullest of our capabilities.
Metzger received a Bachelor's degree in Natural Science from Saint John's University, Collegeville, Minnesota (1980), a Master's degree in Biology and Exercise Physiology from Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana (1982), a Ph.D. degree in Biology/Physiology under the mentorship of Dr. Robert Fitts from Marquette University Milwaukee, Wisconsin (1985), and performed post doctoral studies with Dr. Richard Moss at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin (1991). His lab designed and implemented a cardiac muscle-cell system that allows the transfer of genes into heart cells in order to assess the impact of those genes on the production of force and motion, the major function of cardiac muscle cells. The approach has the advantage of shedding light on the primary role of a normal or mutated gene in an otherwise normal muscle cell.
Metzger's findings have been published in top peer journals including Nature, Science, Nature Medicine, the Journal of Clinical Investigation, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. This research is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the American Heart Association, the Muscular Dystrophy Association, and the Federation to Eradicate Duchenne, and has opened the path to treatment for a variety of heart and muscle diseases.

Research Summary

We are a mechanistically driven biomedical research lab focused on the form and function of heart and skeletal muscle in health and disease. We use molecular and integrative biomedical approaches for mechanistic investigations of heart and skeletal muscle function, with the long-range goal of translating these findings to new therapies and treatments for acquired and inherited heart and muscle diseases.Integrative systems biology of cardiac and skeletal muscle function Gene therapy, Gene and Base Editing Synthetic chemistries as membrane stabilizers Transgenic models of heart and muscle diseases Molecular mechanisms of sarcomere function Human iPS cell cardiac and skeletal muscle

Education

PhD, Marquette University
Major: Biology
Minor: Physiology
MS, Ball State University
Major: Biology/Exercise Physiology
BS, Saint John's University
Major: Natural Science