Jeffery Molkentin wants to understand the molecular mechanisms that underlie cardiac and skeletal muscle, in health and in disease. Molkentin and his team are particularly interested in mitochondrial-dependent mechanisms of cell death, such as cellular necrosis. They are also characterizing intracellular signaling pathways and genetic regulatory factors that control growth, differentiation, and replication of heart and skeletal muscle. In addition, they are studying novel secreted protein factors in the heart, cardiac fibroblast function, and mechanisms of calcium handling in heart and skeletal muscle. Their work may inform new treatment strategies for human diseases such as myopathy and cardiac hypertrophy.