Brett Colson

Associate Professor, Cellular and Molecular Medicine

Associate Professor, BIO5 Institute

Associate Professor, Biomedical Engineering

Associate Professor, Clinical Translational Sciences

Associate Professor, Physiological Sciences - GIDP

Member of the Graduate Faculty

My research interests include muscle physiology, muscle disease, and heart failure. The primary focus of my current research is cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying cardiac muscle dysfunction that occurs with genetic mutations in myosin binding protein-C (cMyBP-C), causing hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and leading to arrhythmias, heart failure, and sudden cardiac death. This work also involves development and application of site-directed spectroscopic probe methods for understanding structure, function, and dynamics of cardiac muscle proteins, which is needed to understand the basic mechanisms that are crucial to cardiac muscle physiology and malfunction in disease. The powerful combination of my doctoral training experience in muscle physiology and biophysics under Dr. Richard Moss and my postdoctoral training under Dr. David Thomas in biochemistry and spectroscopic analysis of muscle protein molecular dynamics, uniquely positioned me to undertake biophysical studies at the forefront of biomedicine and technology. I will now continue this line of study in my newly established lab’s research program and independent research career. At the University of Arizona, I aim to establish a strong program in striated muscle biology and cardiovascular sciences to study the molecular mechanisms of muscle proteins and their response to changing physiological demands in health and disease, combining several biophysical techniques from comprehensive analysis of contractile function at levels ranging from isolated muscles to actin-myosin molecular interactions, to high-resolution distance and disorder measurements of muscle protein structural dynamics in solution and in muscle cells, specially engineered with reporter probes. I expect my career development to continue in the presence of high-quality faculty colleagues in the research area of cardiovascular physiology and muscle biophysics in the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, the Molecular Cardiovascular Research Group, and the Sarver Heart Center under direction of Drs. Carol Gregorio and Nancy Sweitzer. My career development will be further strengthened with Dr. Henk Granzier as my senior faculty mentor. I am confident my past training has rigorously prepared me to pursue very exciting medically-relevant spectroscopy studies, well-aligned for discovery of novel therapies for muscle dysfunction and heart failure that I have proposed to study as I start my independent investigator career, in order to understand and fix the molecular defects underlying rare and complex disease in skeletal and cardiac muscle. I will use these spectroscopic approaches to understand muscle structure and mechanical function and then apply these insights for the development of high-throughput assays for novel muscle disease therapies to improve muscle strength and cardiac performance.

Offering Research Opportunities?


Prerequisite Courses

None required

Majors Considered

MCB, Biochem, BME, Physio, Chem, other

Types of Opportunities

Description of Opportunity

No description given

Start Date

May 2023

Primary Department

Affiliated Departments

Research Location