Starting with crocodilians, the heart pumps the blood through the pulmonary and systemic circulation by the coordinated rhythmic contractions of its upper left and right atria (LA, RA) and lower left and right ventricles (LV, RV). Each of the four heart chambers has a well-defined role in circulation and the adequate morphology but how their distinct functions and buildups are determined by the gene expression profiles is still not completely understood. Myocardium transcriptomes of LA, RA, LV and RV from four adult male C57Bl/6j mice were profiled in collaboration with Prof. B Amuzescu (University of Bucharest) with Agilent microarrays to identify the differences responsible for the specificities of the four heart chambers. The transcriptome of each chamber was analyzed as a multi-dimensional (200 mil) mathematical object, constrained by a dynamic set of correlations among the overlapping genomic fabrics of functional pathways. The study, just published in the Nature journal Scientific Reports, identified novel transcriptomic mechanisms by which the genes encoding ionic channels and transporters control heart contractions. Moreover, it confirmed that, from the transcriptomic perspective, heart ontogeny recapitulates heart phylogeny.
Dr. Dumitru Iacobas, Research Professor and Director of the CCSB Personalized Genomics Laboratory from 2018, is an expert of both experimental and computational genomics. Because at CCSB Dr. Iacobas has the technology but not the research personnel and access to an animal facility, he performed most experiments in the labs of former mentees from his 46y academic career (25y in Romania and 21y in the USA). The collaborators provided the biological samples, expensive consumables, technical assistance and (sometimes) paid the associated publication costs. Collaborative researches in the last 3y resulted in 20 articles published in major journals with colleagues from 19 USA (CA, CO, CT, IL, MD, NJ, NY, OR, TX) and 12 foreign (Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Georgia, Germany, Israel, Italy, Romania) academic institutions. Part of Dr. Iacobas’ publications are listed in the website: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=VFmHtewAAAAJ).