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Diane H. Munzenmaier, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Phone: (414) 955-8557 
Email: dmunz@mcw.edu
B.S. Biology, Marquette University, 1984
Ph.D. Physiology, Medical College of Wisconsin, 1995

Research areas: Cardiovascular Physiology
  Molecular & Cellular Physiology

Research Interests:

Genomics of Cardiovascular Disease

An area of interest that our laboratory is currently pursuing is attempting to dissect the complicated gene-environment interaction of obesity and cardiovascular disease. Obesity, which is more prevalent in the US than ever before, is a major risk factor for development of cardiovascular disease. But how much of that risk is genetic and how much is due to influences of unhealthy diet and lifestyle? Is it possible to oppose the effect of the genetic disease susceptibility through positive lifestyle changes? These are extremely difficult questions to address with human studies due to multiple genetic and environmental variables. Our intent is to utilize genetically-defined rats and specially-formulated diets to better understand the complex interaction between fat intake and genetic susceptibility to disease.

As a physiologist involved with genomics research, I have a strong interest in the utilization integration and of the enormous amount of genomic sequence data and functional annotation available with mechanistic, disease-based physiology research. The Rat Genome Database (RGD), developed and maintained at MCW, is the major resource of genomic information world-wide for biomedical researchers using the rat as a model organism. My goal is to make RGD even more accessible to investigators focused on basic science and disease mechanisms and to help educate these investigators as to how RGD can enhance and facilitate their research programs.

Finally, education is a critically important mission of the Human and Molecular Genetics Center. As the Education Director in the HMGC, I am involved in the development and coordination of many educational activities, training, and coursework in genetics at all levels. I am currently developing a new medical genetics residency program which will train pediatricians, internists, and physicians from other specialties to become board-certified clinical geneticists. In addition, I am developing new graduate and medical school coursework and postdoctoral fellowship training programs. We are actively working with Alverno College to provide undergraduate research internships with our HMGC faculty. Finally, we are continually striving to provide effective and inspirational educational outreach to K-12 students, as well as to the lay public, in order to better communicate the excitement and promise of genetic research in advancing and improving healthcare in the near future.

Recent Publications:

Munzenmaier, D.H., Greene, A.S. Chronic angiotensin II AT1 receptor blockade increases cerebral microvessel density. Am J Physiol (Heart Circ Physiol) 290: H512-H516, 2006.


Resende, M.M., Amaral, S.L., Munzenmaier, D.H., Greene, A.S. Role of endothelial cell apoptosis in regulation of skeletal muscle angiogenesis during high and low salt intake. Physiol Genomics 25:325-35, 2006.


Petersen, M.C., Munzenmaier, D.H., Greene, A.S. Angiotensin II infusion restores stimulated angiogenesis in the skeletal muscle of rats on a high-salt diet, Am J Physiol (Heart Circ Physiol) 291:114-20, 2006.


Munzenmaier, D.H. Help protect the future of physiology. (Editorial) Adv Physiol Educ, Sept, 2006.

Ardelt AA, McCullough LD, Korach KS, Wang MM, Munzenmaier DH, Hurn PD. Estradiol regulates angiopoietin-1 mRNA expression through estrogen receptor-alpha in a rodent experimental stroke model. Stroke. 2005 Feb;36(2):337-41.

Forder JP, Munzenmaier DH, Greene AS. Angiogenic protection from focal ischemia with angiotensin II type 1 receptor blockade in the rat. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2005 Apr;288(4):H1989-96.

Santos CF, Caprio MA, Oliveira EB, Salgado MC, Schippers DN, Munzenmaier DH, Greene AS. Functional role, cellular source, and tissue distribution of rat elastase-2, an angiotensin II-forming enzyme. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2003 Aug;285(2):H775-83.

Munzenmaier DH, Harder DR. Cerebral microvascular endothelial cell tube formation: role of astrocytic epoxyeicosatrienoic acid release. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2000 Apr;278(4):H1163-7.

Nora EH, Munzenmaier DH, Hansen-Smith FM, Lombard JH, Greene AS. Localization of the ANG II type 2 receptor in the microcirculation of skeletal muscle. Am J Physiol. 1998 Oct;275(4 Pt 2):H1395-403.


Curriculum Vitae

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