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Joe Gordon PhD

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Current Position

Associate Professor, College of Nursing, Rady Faculty of Health Science, University of Manitoba

Scientist, Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba, Member of the Diabetes Research Envisioned and Accomplished in Manitoba (DREAM) research theme

Adjunct Profession, Department of Human Anatomy and Cell Science, Max Rady College of Medicine, Rady Faculty of Health Science, University of Manitoba

Adjunct Profession, Department of Physiology and Pathophysiology, Max Rady College of Medicine, Rady Faculty of Health Science, University of Manitoba


My research training began in my Master’s degree, where I studied with Dr. David Hood in the School of Kinesiology and Health Sciences at York University. This work involved studying the physiological regulation of mitochondrial biogenesis in the skeletal and cardiac muscle. Following graduation, I took a physiology teaching appointment in the School of Health Sciences at Seneca College in Toronto. During this time, I completed my Doctoral studies with Dr. John McDermott at York University in the Department of Biology. While working with Dr. McDermott, my research project involved investigating the transcription regulation of MEF2C and myocardin in vascular smooth muscle cell differentiation.

In the fall of 2010, I joined the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences at the St. Boniface Research Centre to train as a Post-Doctoral Fellow. During my Fellowship, I studied programmed cell death and cardiac hypertrophy during pathological remodelling of the heart with Dr. Lorrie Kirshenbaum.

In July of 2012, I was hired by the College of Nursing at the University of Manitoba and joined the Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba as a research Scientist. My independent research program investigates the role of mitochondrial function as a regulator of myocyte cell death and differentiation during cardiovascular and skeletal muscle development and disease.


2010-2012-Post-doctoral Fellow – Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences, St. Boniface Research Centre, Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Manitoba. Supervisor: Lorrie Kirshenbaum PhD.

2010- PhD – Department of Biology, York University, Toronto, Ontario. Supervisor: John McDermott PhD.

2000- M.Sc. Department of Kinesiology and Health Science, York University, Toronto, Ontario. Supervisor: David Hood PhD.

1997- Bachelor of Kinesiology. Department of Kinesiology, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario.

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Current Research

Dr. Gordon’s research focuses on the regulation of mitochondrial function during cardiac and skeletal muscle differentiation and remodeling, including hypoxia/ischemia, diabetic cardiomyopathy, and insulin resistance.  Dr. Gordon’s laboratory utilizes cell and molecular approaches to understand mitochondrial function, dynamics, and turn-over including the regulation of mitophagy and mitochondrial permeability transition. Specifically, Dr. Gordon’s laboratory studies the transcriptional regulation and post-translational modification of Bcl-2 family members utilizing both primary and immortalized cells, differentiated human induced pluripotent stem cells, and conditional knockout mice.

Current Projects

  • The role of myocardin-regulated microRNAs in cardiac and vascular smooth muscle cell death and differentiation (Funded the NSERC Discovery Program).
  • Molecular regulation of cell death by myocardin and Nix following myocardial infarction (Funded by an HSFC Grant-in-aid).
  • Nix modulates cardiac and skeletal muscle insulin sensitivity through alterations in mitophagy and mitochondrial dynamics (Funded the Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba and DREAM).
  • Molecular mechanisms surrounding misoprostol-induced Bnip3 inactivation, repression, and alternative splicing in cardiac myocytes exposed to hypoxic stress.
  • Post-translational modification of Nix contributes to chemo-resistance in alveolar rhabdomyosarcomal cells (Funded the Children’s Hospital Research Institute).