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Heart Institute

USF Heart Institute

Kunhua Song, PhD

Kunhua Song, PhD

Associate Professor of Internal Medicine, Heart Institute, Center for Regenerative Medicine

Contact Info 560 Channelside Dr
Tampa FL 33602

Academic Email:

View My C.V.


  • Ph.D., Genetics and Development, the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, 2007
  • M.S., Cell and Molecular Biology, the University of Arkansas, 2002
  • M.A., Immunology, Zhejiang University, 1999
  • B.S., Biology, Fudan University, 1996

Research Interests

  • Research in my laboratory focuses on understanding molecular mechanisms and signaling pathways that govern heart development and cardiovascular disease using a combination approach, human induced pluripotent stem cell-based platform (hiPSC) and mouse models of cardiovascular disease. Here are some undergoing projects in the lab: (1) Congenital heart defects in Down syndrome, (2) Translational research of metabolic cardiomyopathy, and (3) Molecular mechanisms underlying cardiomyocyte cell fate decision for heart regeneration.

Recent Publications

  • Waugh KA, Minter R, Baxter J, Chi C, Galbraith MD, Tuttle KD, ....Song K, Cox TC, Sullivan KD, Espinosa JM. Triplication of the interferon receptor locus contributes to hallmarks of Down syndrome in a mouse model. Nature Genetics. 55(6) : 1034-1047, 2023.
  • Chi C, Knight WE, Riching AS, Zhang Z, Tatavosian R, Zhuang Y, Moldovan R, Rachubinski AL, Gao D, Xu H, Espinosa JM, Song K. Interferon hyperactivity impairs cardiogenesis in Down syndrome via downregulation of canonical Wnt signaling. iScience. 26(7) : 107012, 2023.
  • Chi C, Song K. Cellular reprogramming of fibroblasts in heart regeneration. J Mol Cell Cardiol.. 180: 84-93, 2023.
  • Hu W, Chi C, Song K, Zheng H. The molecular mechanism of sialic acid transport mediated by Sialin. Science Advances. 9(3) : eade8346, 2023.
  • Zhao Y, Riching AS, Knight WE, Chi C, Broadwell LJ, Du Y, Abdel-Hafiz M, Ambardekar AV, Irwin DC, Proenza C, Xu H, Leinwand LA, Walker LA, Woulfe KC, Bristow MR, Buttrick PM, Song K. Cardiomyocyte-Specific Long Noncoding RNA Regulates Alternative Splicing of the Triadin Gene in the Heart. Circulation. 146(9) : 699-714, 2022.
  • Knight WE, Cao Y, Lin YH, Chi C, Bai B, Sparagna GC, Zhao Y, Du Y, Londono P, .......Bristow MR, Buttrick PM, Song K Maturation of Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Cardiomyocytes Enables Modeling of Human Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy. Stem Cell Reports. 16(3) : 519-533, 2021.
  • Riching AS, Danis E, Zhao Y, Cao Y, Chi C, Bagchi RA, Klein BJ, Xu H, Kutateladze TG, McKinsey TA, Buttrick PM, Song K. Suppression of canonical TGF-β signaling enables GATA4 to interact with H3K27me3 demethylase JMJD3 to promote cardiomyogenesis. J Mol Cell Cardiol. 153: 44-59, 2021.
  • Riching AS, Song K. Cardiac Regeneration: New Insights Into the Frontier of Ischemic Heart Failure Therapy. Front Bioeng Biotechnol.. 8: 637538, 2021.
  • Stratton MS, Bagchi RA, Felisbino MB, Hirsch RA, Smith HE, Riching AS, Enyart BY, Koch KA, Cavasin MA, Alexanian M, Song K, Qi J, Lemieux ME, Srivastava D, Lam MPY, Haldar SM, Lin CY, McKinsey TA. Dynamic Chromatin Targeting of BRD4 Stimulates Cardiac Fibroblast Activation. Circulation Research. 125(7) : 662-677, 2019.
  • Chi C, Leonard A, Knight WE, Beussman KM, Zhao Y, Cao Y, Londono P, Aune E, Trembley MA, Small EM, Jeong MY, Walker LA, Xu H, Sniadecki NJ, Taylor MR, Buttrick PM, Song K. LAMP-2B regulates human cardiomyocyte function by mediating autophagosome-lysosome fusion Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 116(2) : 556-565, 2019.
  • Zhou H, Morales MG, Hashimoto H, Dickson ME, Song K, Ye W, Kim MS, Niederstrasser H, Wang Z, Chen B, Posner BA, Bassel-Duby R, Olson EN. ZNF281 enhances cardiac reprogramming by modulating cardiac and inflammatory gene expression. Genes and Development. 31(17) : 770-1783, 2017.
  • Zhao Y, Londono P, Cao Y, Sharpe EJ, Proenza C, O'Rourke R, Jones KL, Jeong MY, Walker LA, Buttrick PM, McKinsey TA, Song K High-efficiency reprogramming of fibroblasts into cardiomyocytes requires suppression of pro-fibrotic signalling Nature Communications. 6: 8243, 2015.
  • Long C, Grueter CE, Song K, Qin S, Qi X, Kong YM, Shelton JM, Richardson JA, Zhang CL, Bassel-Duby R, Olson EN. Ataxia and Purkinje cell degeneration in mice lacking the CAMTA1 transcription factor Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 111(31) : 11521-6, 2014.
  • Nam YJ, Song K, Olson EN Heart repair by cardiac reprogramming. Nature Medicine. 19(4) : 413-5, 2013.
  • Nam YJ, Song K, Luo X, Daniel E, Lambeth K, West K, Hill JA, DiMaio JM, Baker LA, Bassel-Duby R, Olson EN. Reprogramming of human fibroblasts toward a cardiac fate. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A.. 110(14) : 5588-93, 2013.
  • Song K, Nam YJ, Luo X, Qi X, Tan W, Huang GN, Acharya A, Smith CL, Tallquist MD, Neilson EG, Hill JA, Bassel-Duby R, Olson EN Heart repair by reprogramming non-myocytes with cardiac transcription factors Nature. 485(7400) : 599-604, 2012.