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Keith A. Youker, PhD

Assistant Research Professor of Cardiovascular Sciences, Institute for Academic Medicine
Assistant Research Member, Research Institute
Houston Methodist


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.

Areas Of Expertise

Transplantation LVAD Immunology Cardiac Heart Failure
Education & Training

PhD, Baylor College of Medicine

Small molecule disruption of G protein ß? subunit signaling reprograms human macrophage phenotype and prevents autoimmune myocarditis in rats
Karuppagounder, V, Bajpai, A, Meng, S, Arumugam, S, Sreedhar, R, Giridharan, VV, Guha, A, Bhimaraj, A, Youker, KA, Palaniyandi, SS, Karmouty-Quintana, H, Kamal, F, Spiller, KL, Watanabe, K & Thandavarayan, RA 2018, PLoS ONE, vol. 13, no. 7, e0200697. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0200697

Efficacy of sustained delivery of GC-1 from a Nanofluidic system in a spontaneously obese non-human primate: a case study
Filgueira, CS, Bruno, G, Smith, ZW, Chua, CYX, Ballerini, A, Folci, M, Gilbert, AL, Jain, P, Sastry, JK, Nehete, PN, Shelton, KA, Hill, LR, Ali, A, Youker, KA & Grattoni, A 2018, Biomedical Microdevices, vol. 20, no. 2, 49. DOI: 10.1007/s10544-018-0296-2

Inducible lung epithelial resistance requires multisource reactive oxygen species generation to protect against viral infections
Kirkpatrick, CT, Wang, Y, Leiva Juarez, MM, Shivshankar, P, Pantaleón García, J, Plumer, AK, Kulkarni, VV, Ware, HH, Gulraiz, F, Chavez Cavasos, MA, Martinez Zayes, G, Wali, S, Rice, AP, Liu, H, Tour, JM, Sikkema, WKA, Cruz Solbes, AS, Youker, KA, Tuvim, MJ, Dickey, BF & Evans, SE 2018, mBio, vol. 9, no. 3, e00696-18. DOI: 10.1128/mBio.00696-18

Functionally redundant control of cardiac hypertrophic signaling by inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptors
Garcia, MI, Karlstaedt, A, Chen, JJ, Amione-Guerra, J, Youker, KA, Taegtmeyer, H & Boehning, D 2017, Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology, vol. 112, pp. 95-103. DOI: 10.1016/j.yjmcc.2017.09.006

Inhibition of hyaluronan synthesis attenuates pulmonary hypertension associated with lung fibrosis
Collum, SD, Chen, NY, Hernandez, AM, Hanmandlu, A, Sweeney, H, Mertens, TCJ, Weng, T, Luo, F, Molina, JG, Davies, J, Horan, IP, Morrell, NW, Amione-Guerra, J, Al-Jabbari, O, Youker, K, Sun, W, Rajadas, J, Bollyky, PL, Akkanti, BH, Jyothula, S, Sinha, N, Guha, A & Karmouty-Quintana, H 2017, British Journal of Pharmacology, vol. 174, no. 19, pp. 3284-3301. DOI: 10.1111/bph.13947

Rapamycin nanoparticles localize in diseased lung vasculature and prevent pulmonary arterial hypertension
Segura-Ibarra, V, Amione-Guerra, J, Cruz-Solbes, AS, Cara, FE, Iruegas-Nunez, DA, Wu, S, Youker, KA, Bhimaraj, A, Torre-Amione, G, Ferrari, M, Karmouty-Quintana, H, Guha, A & Blanco, E 2017, International Journal of Pharmaceutics, vol. 524, no. 1-2, pp. 257-267. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijpharm.2017.03.069

AIBP Limits Angiogenesis Thorough ?-Secretase-Mediated Upregulation of Notch Signaling
Mao, R, Meng, S, Gu, Q, Araujo-Gutierrez, R, Kumar, S, Yan, Q, Almazan, F, Youker, KA, Fu, Y, Pownall, HJ, Cooke, JP, Miller, YI & Fang, L 2017, Circulation research. DOI: 10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.116.309754

Epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) and endothelial to mesenchymal transition (EndMT): Role and implications in kidney fibrosis
Cruz-Solbes, AS & Youker, K 2017, . in RK Miller (ed.), Kidney Development and Disease. vol. 60, Results and Problems in Cell Differentiation, vol. 60, Springer Verlag, pp. 345-372. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-51436-9_13

Pulmonary Hypertension Associated with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis: Current and Future Perspectives
Collum, SD, Amione-Guerra, J, Cruz-Solbes, AS, Difrancesco, A, Hernandez, AM, Hanmandlu, A, Youker, K, Guha, A & Karmouty-Quintana, H 2017, Canadian Respiratory Journal, vol. 2017, 1430350. DOI: 10.1155/2017/1430350

MicroRNA-126 overexpression rescues diabetes-induced impairment in efferocytosis of apoptotic cardiomyocytes
Suresh Babu, S, Amirthalingam Thandavarayan, R, Joladarashi, D, Jeyabal, P, Krishnamurthy, S, Bhimaraj, A, Youker, KA & Krishnamurthy, P 2016, Scientific Reports, vol. 6, 36207. DOI: 10.1038/srep36207

Macrophage bone morphogenic protein receptor 2 depletion in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and Group III pulmonary hypertension
Chen, NY, Collum, SD, Luo, F, Weng, T, Le, TT, Hernandez, AM, Philip, K, Molina, JG, Garcia-Morales, LJ, Cao, Y, Ko, TC, Amione-Guerra, J, Al-Jabbari, O, Bunge, RR, Youker, K, Bruckner, BA, Hamid, R, Davies, J, Sinha, N & Karmouty-Quintana, H 2016, American Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology, vol. 311, no. 2, pp. 238-254. DOI: 10.1152/ajplung.00142.2016

MicroRNA-9 inhibits hyperglycemia-induced pyroptosis in human ventricular cardiomyocytes by targeting ELAVL1
Jeyabal, P, Thandavarayan, RA, Joladarashi, D, Suresh Babu, S, Krishnamurthy, S, Bhimaraj, A, Youker, KA, Kishore, R & Krishnamurthy, P 2016, Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, vol. 471, no. 4, pp. 423-429. DOI: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2016.02.065

Rnd3/RhoE Modulates Hypoxia-Inducible Factor 1a/Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Signaling by Stabilizing Hypoxia-Inducible Factor 1a and Regulates Responsive Cardiac Angiogenesis
Yue, X, Lin, X, Yang, T, Yang, X, Yi, X, Jiang, X, Li, X, Li, T, Guo, J, Dai, Y, Shi, J, Wei, L, Youker, KA, Torre-Amione, G, Yu, Y, Andrade, KC & Chang, J 2016, Hypertension, vol. 67, no. 3, pp. 597-605. DOI: 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.115.06412

A specifically designed nanoconstruct associates, internalizes, traffics in cardiovascular cells, and accumulates in failing myocardium: A new strategy for heart failure diagnostics and therapeutics
Ruiz-Esparza, GU, Segura-Ibarra, V, Cordero-Reyes, AM, Youker, KA, Serda, RE, Cruz-Solbes, AS, Amione-Guerra, J, Yokoi, K, Kirui, DK, Cara, FE, Paez-Mayorga, J, Flores-Arredondo, JH, Guerrero-Beltrán, CE, Garcia-Rivas, G, Ferrari, M, Blanco, E & Torre-Amione, G 2016, European Journal of Heart Failure, vol. 18, no. 2, pp. 169-178. DOI: 10.1002/ejhf.463

Combination of angiotensin II and l-NG-nitroarginine methyl ester exacerbates mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress to cause heart failure
Hamilton, DJ, Zhang, A, Li, S, Cao, TN, Smith, JA, Vedula, I, Cordero-Reyes, AM, Youker, KA, Torre-Amione, G & Gupte, AA 2016, American Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology, vol. 310, no. 6, pp. H667-H680. DOI: 10.1152/ajpheart.00746.2015

Full expression of cardiomyopathy is partly dependent on B-cells: A pathway that involves cytokine activation, immunoglobulin deposition, and activation of apoptosis
Cordero-Reyes, AM, Youker, KA, Trevino, AR, Celis, R, Hamilton, DJ, Flores-Arredondo, JH, Orrego, CM, Bhimaraj, A, Estep, JD & Torre-Amione, G 2016, Journal of the American Heart Association, vol. 5, no. 1, pp. 1-12. DOI: 10.1161/JAHA.115.002484

Enhanced Cardiac Regenerative Ability of Stem Cells After Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury: Role of Human CD34(+) Cells Deficient in MicroRNA-377
Joladarashi, D, Srikanth Garikipati, VN, Thandavarayan, RA, Verma, SK, Mackie, AR, Khan, M, Gumpert, AM, Bhimaraj, A, Youker, KA, Uribe, C, Suresh Babu, S, Jeyabal, P, Kishore, R & Krishnamurthy, P 2015, Journal of the American College of Cardiology, vol. 66, no. 20, pp. 2214-2226. DOI: 10.1016/j.jacc.2015.09.009

Standardized extracts from black bean coats (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) prevent adverse cardiac remodeling in a murine model of non-ischemic cardiomyopathy
García-Rivas, G, Youker, KA, Orrego, C, Flores-Arredondo, J, Guerrero-Beltrán, CE, Cordero-Reyes, A, Gutiérrez-Uribe, JA, García, M, Serna-Saldivar, SO & Torre-Amione, G 2015, RSC Advances, vol. 5, no. 110, pp. 90858-90865. DOI: 10.1039/c5ra07715j

Differential mitochondrial function in remodeled right and non-remodeled left ventricles in pulmonary hypertension.
Gupte, AA, Cordero-Reyes, AM, Youker, K, Matsunami, RK, Engler, DA, Loebe, M, Ashrith, G, Torre, G & Hamilton, DJ 2015, Journal of Cardiac Failure, pp. Epub.

High proportion of patients with end-stage heart failure regardless of aetiology demonstrates anti-cardiac antibody deposition in failing myocardium: Humoral activation, a potential contributor of disease progression
Youker, KA, Assad-Kottner, C, Cordero-Reyes, AM, Trevino, AR, Flores-Arredondo, JH, Barrios, R, Fernandez-Sada, E, Estep, JD, Bhimaraj, A & Torre-Amione, G 2014, European Heart Journal, vol. 35, no. 16, pp. 1061-1068. DOI: 10.1093/eurheartj/eht506