When she isn’t pursuing her favorite heart-pumping activities of running, swimming, or cycling, Sharlene M. Day, a presidential associate professor of cardiovascular medicine and director of Translational Research for the Penn Cardiovascular Institute, is focused on the heart in another way; trying to unlock and treat the mysteries of genetic heart disease.
As part of her research at the Day Lab, Day integrates translational and clinical science to understand the full spectrum of genetic heart disease evolution and progression, from gene mutations in heart muscle cells to ways of predicting negative outcomes in patients. Clinically, she sees patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a condition where the heart muscle becomes thick making it harder for blood to leave the heart, and other genetic heart conditions at the Penn Center for Inherited Cardiac Disease, such as inherited arrhythmias, high blood cholesterol, Marfan syndrome and familial amyloidosis. Her research program primarily focuses on these same conditions.
A physician scientist, Day completed her residency, followed by a cardiology fellowship, and a postdoctoral research fellowship at the University of Michigan before joining the faculty there, and spent 24 years there before coming to Penn. Day was recruited to Penn Medicine to lead initiatives in translational research within the Cardiovascular Institute and to grow the clinical and academic mission in the Penn Center for Inherited Cardiovascular Disease.
“Very early on in my training, I became fascinated with the interplay between genetics and cardiac physiology that manifest in very unique observable cardiac traits and complicated disease trajectories including both heart failure and arrhythmias, also known as irregular heartbeats,” says Day.
This story is by Sophie Kluthe. Read more at Penn Medicine News.