The focus of Dr. Schwartz’ laboratory is to determine how alterations of myocardial substrate metabolism affect the heart’s response to ischemia. A consistent clinical observation has been that patients with “metabolic syndrome” or other manifestations of insulin resistance fare poorly after acute myocardial infarction. Current work in the laboratory utilizes a porcine model of “metabolic syndrome,” induced by a diet enriched in saturated fat and sugars, to define the associated abnormalities of cardiac insulin signaling and substrate metabolism, and in turn how those abnormalities influence the extent of cardiac injury and contractile dysfunction in ischemia. The laboratory also studies the effects of anti-diabetic drugs on cardiac metabolism and function. Dr. Schwartz’ laboratory has been continuously funded by NIH and VA since 1988.