Elaine and Marvy A. Finger Distinguished Chair for Translational Research in Metabolic Disorders & Professor of Clinical Medicine, Institute for Academic Medicine
Full Clinical Member, Research Institute
Director, Center for Bioenergetics
Weill Cornell Medical College
Dr. Hamilton’s professional career tract has provided the expertise, leadership, and experience to direct the Center for Bioenergetics at Houston Methodist Research Institute. His education was in cellular molecular biology and medicine, and post-graduate training in medicine and endocrinology, as well as laboratory research. His early professional career combined clinical practice and graduate medical education. The transition to translational research began in 2002 when he formed collaborations with colleagues involving clinical treatment trials and orthotopic human islet transplantation. By 2006 his research focus had narrowed to translational issues related to mitochondrial substrate oxidation and energy transfer in failing organ systems such as the human heart.
In 2013, Dr. Hamilton established a bioenergetic research initiative at Houston Methodist Research Institute with the objective of identifying mechanisms of altered energy transduction in disease states, especially those involving high energy tissues. Early and ongoing investigations focus on myocardial energetics in the failing heart. Evolving projects now include the mechanistic study of energy strategies in neoplasia and bioenergetic changes associated with estrogen deficiency. A recent novel but growing project addresses the challenge of transferring functional mitochondria into energy altered tissue such as the failing cardiomyocyte or growing neoplastic cell. The investigative methods include the use of pre-clinical models, tissue cultures and human tissue for analysis. Oxygen consumption, respiratory coupling and glycolytic energy transfer using genomics, metabolomic and proteomic methods are also studied. The team includes basic science specialists in biochemistry and cell biology as well as clinical investigators in cardiology, endocrinology and cardiothoracic surgery. These results have been communicated to the local and national scientific community; positive feedback on these results has strengthened the lab’s ability to design a realistic research plan.