Savita Dhanvantari, PhD

Savita Dhanvantari, PhD

Scientist and Assistant Director, Lawson Health Research Institute
Assistant Professor, Departments of Medical Biophysics and Pathology/Laboratory Medicine
Director, Collaborative Graduate Program in Molecular Imaging, Western University

"Molecular Imaging of Heart Disease: What’s a Hunger Hormone Doing in the Heart?"

Tuesday, June 19, 2018 - 16:00

Fisher Conference Room, 2nd Floor, Robarts Research Institute


Our search for biomarkers of metabolic disease has led us from the pancreatic islet to the heart. We have shown that the hormone ghrelin, known as the “hunger hormone”, along with its receptor, GHSR, are present in myocardial tissue. Using peptide- and peptidomimetic-based imaging tools targeting GHSR in cell and animal models as well as people with heart disease, we show that changes in GHSR levels reflect stages of cardiomyocyte development, diabetic cardiomyopathy, and heart disease. We hope to develop these tools for use in furthering our understanding of heart function, and for clinical molecular imaging of heart disease.