Ivan Moskowitz, M.D., Ph.D.


Associate Professor, Department of Pathology, Department of Pediatrics, Institute for Molecular Pediatric Sciences, Molecular Medicine/MPMM


B.A., Wesleyan University, 1988
Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1996
M.D., University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1998


The University of Chicago
900 East 57th Street
KCBD 5118 
Chicago, Illinois 60637


Phone:  (773) 834-0462

Lab Website


Molecular pathways dictating cardiac morphogenesis and developmental ontogeny of Congenital Heart Disease

What are the molecular pathways that dictate cardiac morphogenesis? What is the developmental ontogeny of Congenital Heart Disease (CHD), the number one birth defect world-wide? How did the cardiovascular system evolve into a form that can support terrestrial life? These intertwined questions form the basis for the investigations underway in the Moskowitz laboratory.

Gene Discovery for CHD
We performed a gene discovery program using a forward genetic screen in mice to identify CHD-causing mutations (Kamp et al., 2010). Our initial work was the first to link cilia signaling to heart development (Friedand-Little et al., 2011). We have recently identified the CHD-causing mutations in multiple lines and are studying their effects on cardiac morphogenesis. This work has led us to the importance of gene regulatory networks in the Second Heart Field for atrial septation.

Cardiac Progenitor Specification and Cardiac Morphogenesis
Our recent work (Hoffmann et al., 2009 and Xie et al., 2012) suggests that the molecular logic governing cardiac septation is firmly established within cardiac progenitors long before septum morphogenesis occurs. In current studies we are using genomic techniques to uncover the molecular programs required in cardiac progenitors for septum morphogenesis.

Cardiac Conduction System 

The Cardiac Conduction System (CCS) is a specialized network of cardiomyocytes responsible for coordinating the rhythmic contraction of the heart. We have generated novel transgenic mouse lines for CCS-specific studies (Arnolds and Moskowitz, 2011) and used them to identify a molecular pathway required for adult CCS function (Arnolds et al., 2012). We are continuing these studies to unveil the molecular logic underlying CCS function.

Our laboratory studies basic questions in cardiac development and function. We take biochemical, molecular, genetic, genomic and cellular approaches to these problems. Our aims are to elucidate general principles of organ morphogenesis using the heart as a model, understand the ontogeny of Congenital Heart Disease, and contribute to our understanding of cardiac evolution. For more information, contact Ivan at imoskowitz at uchicago.edu.

Research Papers in PubMed