Brett A. Colson, PhD

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Assistant Professor, Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine

Brett Colson, PhD, is an assistant professor in the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine.   

His research interests include muscle physiology, muscle disease, and heart failure. The primary focus of his current research is to study the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying cardiac muscle dysfunction that occurs with genetic mutations in myosin binding protein-C (cMyBP-C), the number one cause of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and often leading to arrhythmias, heart failure, and sudden cardiac death. This work also involves development and application of site-directed spectroscopic probe methods for understanding structure, function, and dynamics of cardiac muscle proteins, which is needed to understand the basic mechanisms that are crucial to cardiac muscle physiology and malfunction in disease.

The powerful combination of his doctoral training experience in molecular physiology and muscle biophysics using genetically engineered mice under Dr. Richard Moss, and postdoctoral training under Dr. David Thomas in spectroscopic analysis of molecular dynamics in muscle biochemistry, has uniquely positioned him to undertake biophysical studies at the forefront of biomedicine and technology.

He continues this line of study at the University of Arizona where he aims to establish a strong program in structural biology and cardiovascular sciences to study the molecular mechanisms of muscle proteins and their response to changing physiological demands in health and disease, combining several biophysical techniques from comprehensive analysis of contractile function at levels ranging from isolated muscles to actin-myosin molecular interactions, to high-resolution distance and disorder measurements of muscle protein structural dynamics in solution and in muscle cells, specially engineered with reporter probes.  

Dr. Colson is pursuing very exciting medically-relevant spectroscopy experiments, well-aligned for discovery of novel therapies for heart failure, in order to understand and fix the molecular defects underlying disease in cardiac muscle. Instead of targeting the β-adrenergic receptor or protein kinases with widespread downstream effectors, he is directly targeting the substrate of cMyBP-C. This includes the development of approaches to specifically perturb cMyBP-C structure to favor conformations associated with healthy hearts, in efforts to alleviate the contractile dysfunction associated with diseased hearts. 


University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI  B.S., Molecular Biology, 5/2004

University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI  M.S., Physiology, 8/2006

University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (Rick Moss) Ph.D., Physiology, 12/2009

University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN Postdoctoral Fellow, Biophysics, 12/2012

University of Minnesota (Dave Thomas), Research Associate, Biophysics, 8/2015

Jason H. Karnes, PharmD, PhD, BCPS

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Assistant Professor, Pharmacy Practice-Science

Jason H. Karnes, PharmD, PhD, BCPS, is an Assistant Professor in the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy's Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science.

Dr. Karnes' clinical training as a pharmacist, including board certification in pharmacotherapy and research training in personalized medicine, has put him in a strong position to bridge clinical and basic sciences.  Since graduating from pharmacy school, he has received focused research training in two of the world’s leading laboratories in cardiovascular pharmacogenomics, including graduate training at the University of Florida in the laboratory of Dr. Julie Johnson and postdoctoral research training supervised by Dr. Dan Roden at Vanderbilt University.

Dr. Karnes' current research interests are centered in cardiovascular pharmacogenomics, specifically investigating the utility of genetic polymorphisms to predict serious toxicities of widely-used cardiovascular drugs. His ultimate career goal is to facilitate personalized medicine to avoid such toxicities, using electronic medical records research, molecular genetics techniques, and prospective clinical studies. He is currently continuing postdoctoral research into genetic predictors of heparin-induced thrombocytopenia using genome-wide association study and clinical study approaches.
Licensure and Certifications:  
Board Certified Pharmacotherapy Specialist, Board of Pharmacy Specialties
Licentiate in Pharmacy, Florida Board of Pharmacy
Licentiate in Pharmacy, Tennessee Board of Pharmacy (Inactive)
Academic Teaching Certificate, University of Florida College of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmacotherapy and Translational Research
Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS), American Heart Association
Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS), American Heart Association
Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), Red Cross/American Heart Association
Education and Training:
2012 – 2015    Research Fellowship, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Division of Clinical Pharmacology, Nashville, TN (Advisor: Dr. Dan Roden)
2013 – 2014    Jason D. Morrow Chief Fellow, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Division of Clinical Pharmacology, Nashville, TN
2008 – 2012    Doctor of Philosophy, Clinical Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Florida College of Pharmacy, Gainesville, FL
(Advisors: Dr. Rhonda M. Cooper-DeHoff and Dr. Julie A. Johnson)
2004 – 2008    Doctor of Pharmacy (Cum Laude) University of Florida College of Pharmacy, Gainesville, FL
2000 – 2004    Bachelor of Arts (Ancient Greek), College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA

Anne G. Rosenfeld, PhD, RN

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Associate Dean of Research
Professor, Nursing, University of Arizona College of Nursing.
(520) 626-4947

Anne G. Rosenfeld, PhD, RN, focuses her research on women’s cardiac symptoms, including how they differ from men, and how women recognize, respond to, and manage their cardiac symptoms. Her current research is a study of gender differences in acute coronary syndrome symptoms and is being conducted in the Emergency Department at Banner - University of Arizona Medical Center Tucson.

Jil C. Tardiff, MD, PhD

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Professor of Medicine and Cellular and Molecular Medicine
Steven M. Gootter Endowed Chair for the Prevention of Sudden Cardiac Death
Vice Chair for Research, Department of Medicine, University of Arizona College of Medicine - Tucson

Jil Tardiff, MD, PhD, is a professor of medicine and cellular and molecular medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine - Tucson and a member of the Clinical and Translational Institute at the BIO5 Institute. She attended the University of California at Berkeley where she completed her B.A. in Genetics in 1984. She subsequently completed her M.D. and a Ph.D. (in Cell Biology) at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City in 1992. Dr. Tardiff pursued her housestaff training at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center in New York City. As one of the first participants in the ABIM Clinician-Scientist pathway as a Markey Fellow, she completed an internal medicine residency coupled to a combined clinical-research fellowship in cardiovascular medicine at Columbia. In 2001 she joined the faculty at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine as an assistant professor of medicine and physiology and biophysics. She remained on faculty at Einstein, achieving the rank of associate professor. In 2012 Dr. Tardiff joined the faculty at the University of Arizona College of Medicine, where she currently holds the Steven M. Gootter Endowed Chair for the Prevention of Sudden Cardiac Death.

As a physician-scientist, Dr. Tardiff’s work focuses on the mechanisms that underlie the development of the most common form of genetic cardiomyopathy, those caused by mutations in proteins of the cardiac sarcomere, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). These complex disorders affect one in 500 individuals of all ages and represent the most common cause of sudden cardiac death in the field. Her studies detailing the mechanisms of disease pathogenesis at the level of individual cells using transgenic mouse models has been continuously funded by the NIH since 2001 and the work has been cited in support of new clinical trials to evaluate novel treatment modalities for this challenging cardiomyopathy.  More recently, in collaboration with Steven Schwartz in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Arizona, her lab has developed computational approaches to modeling and eventually predicting disease severity based on protein structure. To fully translate these basic research findings to the clinical realm, one of her main goals remains the development of an HCM Center of Excellence at the University of Arizona where patients from all over the southwest can obtain lifelong cutting edge medical care for this complex and often devastating disorder. 

Dr. Tardiff was awarded $1.4 million (NIH grant number HL075619) to continue her lab’s study of “Integrative Approach to Divergent Remodeling in Thin Filament Cardiomyopathies.” Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy is an often devastating and common cardiac genetic disease. The goal of this research is to improve the understanding of how independent mutations cause this complex disorder and discover better therapeutic options, especially in young people.

Read more:

Gootter Endowed Chair for Sudden Cardiac Death Research Established

Guidelines for Screening Athletes for Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM)

For physician appointment information, please call 520-MyHeart (694-3278).

For more health information, please visit our Heart Health page.

Paul R. Standley, PhD

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Professor of Basic Medical Sciences
(602) 827-2107

Cynthia Standley, PhD

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Research Professor, Basic Medical Sciences
(602) 827-2148

Mark R. Haussler, PhD

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Regents Professor of Basic Medical Sciences
(602) 827-2100

Taben M. Hale, PhD

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Assistant Professor of Basic Medical Sciences
(602) 827-2139

Taben Hale, PhD, is an assistant professor of Basic Medical Sciences at the University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix. She is a principal investigator on a study titled “Influence of local testosterone aromatization on angiotensin-induced vascular remodeling.” A past recipient of Sarver Heart Center Investigator Awards, she has obtained Beginning Grant-in-aid from the American Heart Association, Western States Affiliate (13BGIA14720053) for the funding period 01/01/13-12/31/14.

Eric J. Guilbeau, PhD

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Chair, Harrington Dept of Bioengineering
(480) 965-3676

Rayna J. Gonzales, PhD

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Assistant Professor of Basic Medical Sciences
(602) 827-2167
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