The Robia Lab

The Robia Lab is part of the Cell & Molecular Physiology Department in the Stritch School of Medicine at Loyola University Chicago.

The goal of this research laboratory is to understand how the heart muscle responds to the varying demands of exercise and rest, and how it becomes disordered in disease states. Our research program consists of several major areas of interest: molecular physiology of cardiac signaling; structural biology of membrane proteins; disruption of ion transport in heart disease and neurodegenerative disease.

Scientists in the Robia lab use biochemical and biophysical methods to investigate transporter conformational changes in order to understand mechanisms of transporter function and regulation.

Specifically, we take advantage of methods such as fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET), fluorescence correlation spectroscopy, fluorescence lifetime analysis, and molecular dynamics simulations to discover how transporters move and interact with their regulatory partners.

Our lab is particularly interested in SERCA function in the context of human disease, especially heart failure, which is associated with impaired cardiac calcium handling. 

Research in the Robia Lab has been supported by the National Institutes of Health (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering), and the American Heart Association.