Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine.
Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Keith Youker Ph.D.

Keith A. Youker, Ph.D.

Assistant Member 
Cardiovascular Disease Research Program
Houston Methodist Research Institute

E-mail:  kayouker@houstonmethodist.org
Phone: 713-441-3500


B.A.   Oakland University, Rochester, MI (Biology/Chemistry/Physics)
Ph.D.   Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX (Cardiovascular Sciences)


Dr. Keith Youker earned his Ph.D. in Cardiovascular Sciences from Baylor College of Medicine and was the first graduate from this program.  The program initially used a broad knowledge approach to training including course work from medical school, graduate school, and cardiovascular core courses designed for basic scientists to work in clinical cardiovascular research.  His dissertation work earned him a nomination for the Sigma Xi “Excellence in Science Dissertation Award”.  Since graduation, Dr. Youker has been a faculty member in both the departments of Medicine and Surgery at Baylor College of Medicine prior to joining Houston Methodist Hospital.  He has served as an ad hoc reviewer for the journals of Circulation, American Journal of Pathology, ASAIO and the Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation.  Dr. Youker’s primary focus has been in heart failure with a particular interest in inflammation and its role in the progression of heart failure.  Dr. Youker prefers a hands-on approach in the laboratory and is expert in many areas from electron microscopy to molecular biology techniques and has earned a reputation of excellence in cardiovascular immunopathology research. 

Description of Research

Dr. Youker focuses on research of the immune system in heart failure and metabolism in heart failure.

Major Areas of Research

Immunology, Cardiac, Transplantation, LVAD, Heart Failure

Recent Publications

Cordero-Reyes AM, Youker KA, Torre-Amione G. The role of B-cells in heart failure. Methodist Debakey Cardiovasc J. 2013 Jan-Mar;9(1):15-9. PMID: 23519014

Cordero-Reyes AM, Youker K, Hamilton DJ, Torre-Amione G, Marian AJ, Nagueh SF. Molecular, cellular, and functional characterization of myocardial regions in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Circ Cardiovasc Imaging. 2012 May 1;5(3):419-22. PMID: 22592011

Orrego CM, Nasir N, Oliveira GH, Flores-Arredondo JH, Cordero-Reyes AM, Loebe M, Youker KA, Torre-Amione G. Cellular evidence of reverse cardiac remodeling induced by cardiac resynchronization therapy. Congest Heart Fail. 2011 May-Jun;17(3):140-6. PMID: 21609388

Torre-Amione G, Orrego CM, Khalil N, Kottner-Assad C, Leveque C, Celis R, Youker KA, Estep JD. Therapeutic plasma exchange a potential strategy for patients with advanced heart failure. J Clin Apher. 2010;25(6):323-30. PMID: 20872844

Torre-Amione G, Southard RE, Loebe MM, Youker KA, Bruckner B, Estep JD, Tierney M, Noon GP. Reversal of secondary pulmonary hypertension by axial and pulsatile mechanical circulatory support. J Heart Lung Transplant. 2010 Feb;29(2):195-200. PMID: 19782604

Youker K, Torre-Amione G. Heart failure research: translating basic science into therapies. Methodist Debakey Cardiovasc J. 2009;5(3):38-41. PMID: 20308962

Ahmed A, Powers MP, Youker KA, Rice L, Ewton A, Dunphy CH, Chang CC. Mast cell burden and reticulin fibrosis in the myeloproliferative neoplasms: a computer-assisted image analysis study. Pathol Res Pract. 2009;205(9):634-8. PMID: 19446406

Matkovich SJ, Van Booven DJ, Youker KA, Torre-Amione G, Diwan A, Eschenbacher WH, Dorn LE, Watson MA, Margulies KB, Dorn GW 2nd. Reciprocal regulation of myocardial microRNAs and messenger RNA in human cardiomyopathy and reversal of the microRNA signature by biomechanical support. Circulation. 2009 Mar 10;119(9):1263-71. PMID: 19237659

Assad-Kottner C, Chen D, Jahanyar J, Cordova F, Summers N, Loebe M, Merla R, Youker K, Torre-Amione G. The use of continuous milrinone therapy as bridge to transplant is safe in patients with short waiting times. J Card Fail. 2008 Dec;14(10):839-43. PMID: 19041047

Jahanyar J, Koerner MM, Loebe M, Youker KA, Torre-Amione G, Noon GP. The role of mast cells after solid organ transplantation. Transplantation. 2008 May 27;85(10):1365-71. PMID: 18497671