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Center for Molecular Medicine

Ilka Pinz

Ilka Pinz, Ph.D.

Center For Molecular Medicine
Maine Medical Center Research Institute
81 Research Dr
Scarborough ME, 04074
Phone: (207) 396-8280
Lab Phone: (207) 396-0361
Fax: (207) 396-8141


Ilka Pinz received her Ph.D. in physiology at the Alfred-Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, University of Bremen, Germany. She did her postdoctoral training in the NMR laboratory of Dr. Joanne Ingwall at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston. Her research focused on cardiac energy metabolism in several mouse models of heart failure. After leaving a senior research associate/adjunct assistant professorship position at the University of New England she joined MMCRI in 2005 and supports the Magnetic Resonance Imaging Core facility.

Research Interests

The research focus of my laboratory is on mechanisms leading to the development of cardiomyopathy in dyslipidemia. With the growing incidence of obesity, and the burden this puts on the health care system, it is important to understand the mechanisms how certain fatty acids and their metabolites contribute to signalling pathways in cardiomyocytes that cause a decline in contractile performance. In particular, the interaction of fatty acid metabolism and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFalpha), a cytokine released by adipocytes and cardiomyocytes, are poorly understood. We utilize transgenic mouse models of dyslipidemia and TNFalpha over-expression to investigate contractile performance in-vivo and of the isolated heart.

Selected Publications

  1. Pinz I. & H.O. Pörtner: Metabolic costs induced by lactate in the toad Bufo marinus: new mechanism behind oxygen dept? J. Appl. Physiol. 2003, 94: 1177-1183,
  2. Javadpour M., Tardiff J. C., Pinz I., Ingwall J. S.: Decreased energetics in murine hearts bearing the R92Q mutation in cradiac troponin T. J. Clin. Invest. 2003, 112: 768-775
  3. Nascimben L., Ingwall J. S., Lorell B. H., Pinz I., Schultz V., Tornheim K., Tian R.: Mechanisms for increased glycolysis in the hypertrophied rat heart. Hypertension 2004, 44(5): 662-667
  4. Pinz I., Robbins J., Rajasekaran N.S., Benjamin I.J., Ingwall J.S.: Unmasking different mechanical and energetic roles for the small heat shock proteins CryAB and HSPB2 in transgenic mouse hearts. FASEB J. 2008 Jan; 22(1): 84-92.
  5. Pinz I, Ostroy SE, Hoyer K, Osinska H, Robbins J, Molkentin JD, Ingwall JS.: Calcineurin-induced energy wasting in a transgenic mouse model of heart failure. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2008 Mar; 294(3): H1459-66.
  6. Pinz I, Wax SD, Anderson P, Ingwall JS: Low over-expression of TNFa in the mouse heart increases contractile performance via TNFR1. Journal of Cellular Biochemistry, 2008, 105(1): 99-107. PMCID in progress
  7. Urs U, Roudabush A, O'Neill C, Pinz I, Prudovsky I, Kacer D, Liaw L, Small D: Soluble forms of the Notch ligands Delta1 and Jagged1 promote in vivo tumorigenicity in NIH3T3 fibroblasts with distinct phenotypes. American Journal of Pathology, 173(3):865-78. PMCID: PMC2527077
  8. Devlin MJ, Cloutier AM, Thomas NA, Panus DA, Lotinun S, Pinz I, Baron R, Rosen CJ, Bouxsein ML. Caloric restriction leads to high marrow adiposity and low bone mass in growing mice. J Bone Miner Res. 2010;25(9):2078-88. PMCID: PMC3127399
  9. Yang X, Kilgallen S, Andreeva V, Spicer DB, Pinz I, Friesel R. Conditional expression of Spry1 in neural crest causes craniofacial and cardiac defects. BMC Dev Biol. 2010 May 11;10(1):48. PMCID: PMC2874773
  10. Pinz I, Zhou M, Mende U, Ingwall JS: An Improved Isolation Procedure for Adult Mouse Cardiomyocytes. Cell Biochem Biophys. 2011 Sep;61(1):93-101. PMCID: PMC3249381.
  11. Pinz I, Tian R, Belke D, Swanson E, Dillmann W, Ingwall JS: Compromised Myocardial Energetics in Hypertrophied Mouse Hearts Diminish the Beneficial Effect of Overexpressing SERCA2a. J Biol Chem. 2011 Mar 25;286(12):10163-8. PMCID: PMC3060468 (Pinz corresponding author)
  12. Knowles CJ, Dionne M., Cebova M, Pinz IM: Palmitate-induced Translocation of Caveolin-3 and eNOS in Cardiomyocytes. Online J Biol Sci. 2011;11(2):27-36. PMCID: PMC3175373.
  13. Young K, Conley B A, Romero D, Tweedie E, O'Neill C F, Pinz I, Brogan L, Lindner V, Liaw L, and Vary C P H: BMP9 Regulates Endoglin-dependent Chemokine Responses in Endothelial Cells. Blood. 2012 Nov 15;120(20):4263-73. PMCID: PMC3501721.
  14. Knowles CJ, Cebova M, Pinz IM: Palmitate diet-induced loss of cardiac caveolin-3: A novel mechanism for lipid-induced contractile dysfunction. PLosOne 2013, Apr 9;8(4):e61369. PMCID: PMC3621834.
  15. Marks P, Preda M, Henderson T, Lindner V, Liaw L, Friesel RE, Pinz IM: Interactive 3D Analysis of Blood Vessel Trees and Collateral Vessel Volumes in Magnetic Resonance Angiograms in the Mouse Ischemic Hindlimb Model. The Open Medical Imaging Journal, 2013, 7, 19-27

Lab Photo

Pinz Lab

Maine Medical Center Research Institute 81 Research Dr Scarborough, ME 04074 (207)396-8100

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