Carla J. Weinheimer, MS
Associate Professor of Medicine
- Director, Mouse Cardiovascular Phenotyping Core, Center for Cardiovascular Research
- B.S. Animal Science: University of Illinois, Champaign, IL (1984)
- Laboratory Technician, Graduate Studies: Ruminant Nutrition Laboratory, Washington University, St. Louis, MO (1984)
- M.S. Molecular Biology: Washington University, St. Louis, MO (1997)
Alpha Zeta (Honorary Society), University of Illinois
Invited Presenter for “Meet the Experts” Seminar with Visual Sonics
Murine Cardiovascular Physiology – Specialized Techniques to Evaluate Mouse Models In-Vivo
Extensive research and the use of new therapeutic techniques have largely contributed to the decline in cardiovascular disease related deaths in the last few years. Laboratory animals have been the primary models for investigating disease, and in recent years, this research has largely shifted to mice. There is now a demand to perform rigorous physiologic evaluations of the mouse circulatory system in both normal and disease states. This is the aim of the Mouse Cardiovascular Phenotyping Core. We have established a forum to characterize unique phenotypes and to provide in-depth analysis of data using several state-of-the-art microsurgical techniques, imaging modalities, hemodynamic evaluations, and exercise physiology measurements.Our research goal in developing and expanding the in-vivo mouse phenotyping core is to generate and evaluate models that have reproducible results with little experimental variation. It is critical that relatively small, individual studies can still produce statistically significant results. The mouse core works to provide consistent, validated micro-techniques for a systematic approach to studying the murine circulatory system. This core optimizes survival rates, is cost efficient, and reduces the number of animals required for studies.
Most important to my research effort is that we have shown that several mouse surgical models can be routinely used to mimic hypertension, myocardial infarction, and heart failure in humans. With our highly specialized equipment developed solely for murine analysis, we are able to examine and quantify left ventricular performance in both physiologic and non-physiologic conditions, using echocardiography and miniaturized catheterization techniques. We have also demonstrated that we can measure diastolic dysfunction independent of alterations in systolic function.
As the number of mouse models for common cardiovascular diseases continues to increase, there will be greater demands for the specialized techniques and procedures provided by the mouse core. Our research goal is to meet and exceed these demands by continuing to develop and explore new surgical, echocardiographic, and hemodynamic protocols.