Department of Bio-Medical Sciences - Philadelphia
Assistant Professor of Neuroscience, Physiology and Pharmacology

Cathy J. Hatcher, PhD


Office: 215-871-6527
Research Page

Dr. Hatcher lectures in the Cellular and Molecular Basis for Medicine course in the DO program and also in the Molecular Basis for Medicine course in the Biomedical Sciences program. In addition, she is co-director of the Cardiovascular-Renal-Pulmonary Medicine course in the DO program.

  • Education

    Postdoctoral Fellowship, Cardiovascular Biology, Weill Cornell Medical College
    PhD, Physiology, Medical College of Georgia
    BS, Biology, University of Georgia

  • Research

    Dr. Hatcher’s research interests are focused on various aspects of cardiovascular and skeletal muscle development and disease:

    1) Cardiovascular: Congenital heart defects are the most common birth defect and they occur in about 1% of all live births. Their impact on the quality of human life may range from mild shortness of breath upon exertion to sudden cardiac death. Our lab examines how transcription factors govern cardiovascular development by influencing the spatiotemporal expression of genes that mediate cell proliferation, migration and adhesion within the myocardium, epicardium and underlying coronary vessels of the developing heart. In addition, we are interested in how interactions between transcription factors and microRNAs contribute to formation of cardiovascular structures during embryonic development. We utilize cell-based strategies and transgenic mice to model human disease and assess the contributions of these transcription factors and microRNAs to cardiogenesis. This enables us to identify potential targets for development of therapeutic interventions for treating congenital heart defects.

    2) Skeletal Muscle: Skeletal muscle contraction is dependent upon the interactions of several structural proteins, including members of the highly conserved myosin heavy chain family. Several isoforms of myosin heavy chain protein exist and are expressed in a temporal manner during skeletal muscle development. Genes encoding these myosin proteins are susceptible to mutation that cause inherited disease in humans. Our lab examines how the perinatal isoform of myosin heavy chain (MyHCpn) contributes to the structural formation of skeletal muscle and how mutations in the MYH8 gene encoding MyHCpn cause the skeletal myopathies associated with a genetically inherited human syndrome, Trismus Pseudocamptodactyly. For these studies, we have developed both in vitro and in vivo models to examine the contributions of MyHCpn to skeletal muscle that will enable us to develop therapeutic interventions for treating skeletal muscle disorders.

    Research Keywords:

    cardiovascular development
    cardiovascular disease
    skeletal muscle development
    transcription factor
    coronary vessel

  • Publications

    Selected Publications

    Diman, N. Y., G. Brooks, B. P. Kruithof, O. Elemento, J. G. Seidman, C. Seidman, C. T. Basson and C. J. Hatcher (2014). "Tbx5 is Required for Avian and Mammalian Epicardial Formation and Coronary Vasculogenesis." Circ Res 115(10):834-844. [PubMed ID: 25245104]

    Cheng, C. H., J. Leferovich, X. M. Zhang, K. Bedelbaeva, D. Gourevitch, C. J. Hatcher, C. T. Basson, E. Heber-Katz and K. A. Marx (2013). "Keratin gene expression profiles after digit amputation in C57BL/6 vs. regenerative MRL mice imply an early regenerative keratinocyte activated-like state." Physiol Genomics 45(11): 409-421. [PubMed ID: 23512742]

    Bee, K. J., D. C. Wilkes, R. B. Devereux, C. T. Basson and C. J. Hatcher (2012). "TGFbetaRIIb mutations trigger aortic aneurysm pathogenesis by altering transforming growth factor beta2 signal transduction." Circ Cardiovasc Genet 5(6): 621-629. [PubMed ID: 23099432]

    Hatcher, C. J. and C. T. Basson (2009). "Specification of the cardiac conduction system by transcription factors." Circ Res 105(7): 620-630. [PubMed ID: 19797194]

    Hatcher, C. J. and D. A. McDermott (2006). "Using the TBX5 transcription factor to grow and sculpt the heart." Am J Med Genet A 140(13): 1414-1418. [PubMed ID: 16691575]

    Hatcher, C. J., N. Y. Diman, M. S. Kim, D. Pennisi, Y. Song, M. M. Goldstein, T. Mikawa and C. T. Basson (2004). "A role for Tbx5 in proepicardial cell migration during cardiogenesis." Physiol Genomics 18(2): 129-140. [PubMed ID: 15138308]

    Collavoli, A., C. J. Hatcher, J. He, D. Okin, R. Deo and C. T. Basson (2003). "TBX5 nuclear localization is mediated by dual cooperative intramolecular signals." J Mol Cell Cardiol 35(10): 1191-1195. [PubMed ID: 14519429]

    Hatcher, C. J. and C. T. Basson (2003). "Modeling development of the epicardium and coronary vasculature: in vitro veritas?" Circ Res 92(5): 477-479. [PubMed ID: 12649259]

    Hatcher, C. J., M. S. Kim, C. S. Mah, M. M. Goldstein, B. Wong, T. Mikawa and C. T. Basson (2001). "TBX5 transcription factor regulates cell proliferation during cardiogenesis." Dev Biol 230(2): 177-188. [PubMed ID: 11161571]

    Hatcher, C. J., M. M. Goldstein, C. S. Mah, C. S. Delia and C. T. Basson (2000). "Identification and localization of TBX5 transcription factor during human cardiac morphogenesis." Dev Dyn 219(1): 90-95. [PubMed ID: 10974675]

    Selected Presentations

    Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Department of Bio-Medical Sciences, 2014
    Faculty Seminar Series, Philadelphia, PA

  • Memberships

    In addition to her teaching and research responsibilities, Dr. Hatcher serves on PCOM’s Research Committee and Diversity Committee. Outside of PCOM, she is a member of the American Heart Association and American Physiological Society and she frequently serves as an ad hoc journal reviewer.

  • Grants

    • CCDA, Research Project Grant 2014-2015
    • NIH, Research Project Grant, R01 HL61785 2010-2013
    • NIH, Mentored Career Development Award, K01 HL080948 2005-2010


  • Other

    • American Cancer Society
    • March of Dimes


    • Co-Course Director, Cardiovascular-Renal-Pulmonary Medicine