Research Centers and Programs

Olson Lab

Dr. Aaron Olson's team

Dr. Aaron Olson's research team: Masaki Kajimoto, MD, Olson and Dolena Ledee, PhD

Dr. Aaron Olson is unraveling how changes in cardiac energy production affect heart function. Congenital heart disease and other cardiac problems change how the heart produces energy. While researchers know that these changes impact heart function, they don't know the mechanisms of this interaction. By identifying these mechanisms and understanding how they work, Olson and his colleagues are working toward innovative treatments for heart disease.

For instance, Olson's team is investigating how the gene c-Myc regulates cardiac hypertrophy - a thickening of the heart muscle often caused by congenital heart disease, high blood pressure or other heart problems. This research builds on the observation that cardiac metabolism changes during hypertrophy. Olson and his colleagues are using animal models to study whether Myc influences this relationship by spurring changes in the combination of fuels that the heart uses. Olson's team is also investigating whether stopping this shift can prevent hypertrophy and heart failure.

Investigator Biography

Selected Publications

A selection of Olson's publications is listed below. To see more of his publications, view a complete list on PubMed.

Olson AK, Ledee D, Iwamoto K, Kajimoto M, O'Kelly Priddy C, Isern N, Portman MA. C-Myc induced compensated cardiac hypertrophy increases free fatty acid utilization for the citric acid cycle. J Mol Cell Cardiol. 2013 Feb;55:156-64. doi: 10.1016/j.yjmcc.2012.07.005. Epub 2012 Jul 22.

Olson AK, Bouchard B, Ning XH, Isern N, Rosiers CD, Portman MA. Triiodothyronine increases myocardial function and pyruvate entry into the citric acid cycle after reperfusion in a model of infant cardiopulmonary bypass. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2012 Mar 1;302 (5):H1086-93. doi: 10.1152/ajpheart.00959.2011. Epub 2011 Dec 16.

Choueiter NF*, Olson AK*, Shen DD, Portman MA. Prospective open-label trial of etanercept as adjunctive therapy for kawasaki disease. J Pediatr. 2010 Dec;157 (6):960-966.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2010.06.014. Epub 2010 Jul 27.

Olson AK, Hyyti OM, Cohen GA, Ning XH, Sadilek M, Isern N, Portman MA. Superior cardiac function via anaplerotic pyruvate in the immature swine heart after cardiopulmonary bypass and reperfusion. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2008 Dec;295 (6):H2315-20. doi: 10.1152/ajpheart.00739.2008. Epub 2008 Oct 10.

Olson AK, Protheroe KN, Scholz TD, Segar JL. Activation of the mitogen-activated protein kinases and Akt in response to pulmonary artery banding in the fetal sheep heart is developmentally regulated. Neonatology. 2008;93 (3):145-52. Epub 2007 Sep 18.

Olson AK, Protheroe KN, Scholz TD, Segar JL. The mitogen-activated protein kinases and Akt are developmentally regulated in the chronically anemic fetal sheep heart. J Soc Gynecol Investig. 2006 Apr;13 (3):157-65.

* Contributed equally

Contact Us

Physical Address

Center for Integrative Brain Research
1900 Ninth Ave.
Seattle, WA 98101