Ion Hobai, M.D., Ph.D.

Physician Investigator (Cl)
Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine, Mass General Research Institute
Assistant Professor of Anaesthesia
Harvard Medical School
Assistant Anesthetist
Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital
PhD University of Bristol - England 1998
MD University of Medicine & Pharmacy, Carol Davila 1995
anabolic agents; atrioventricular block; calcium; calcium channels l-type; heart failure; heart muscle physiology; indigotindisulfonate sodium; intracellular calcium homeostasis; intraoperative complications; nickel; nitric oxide; sarcoplasmic reticulum calcium-transporting atpases; sepsis; sodium-calcium exchanger

Research Areas

  • Sepsis

  • Heart failure

  • Heart muscle physiology

Description of Research

My current research focuses on understanding the mechanisms responsible for the decreased cardiac contractile force in patients with sepsis and septic shock (a clinical entity also known as sepsis-induced cardiomyopathy). Specifically, in the last few years I have been studying mechanisms of intracellular calcium homeostasis and nitric oxide (NO) signaling in the heart. NO appears to play a dual role in sepsis, having both pathologic and beneficial roles, and my goal is to be able to propose novel therapeutic agents that will specifically correct the former and potentiate the latter.

Previously, I have been interested in understanding the mechanisms of cardiac excitation contraction coupling (the process that links the cardiac action potential to the development of contractile force, and the main determinant of cardiac contractile force), during my graduate studies in Physiology at the University of Bristol, UK, which were followed by a research fellowship at Johns Hopkins University. At Johns Hopkins I studied how the process of excitation-contraction coupling is compromised in the failing heart, and devised novel therapeutic strategies.  My current interest in sepsis-induced cardiomyopathy is partly the result of my training and current work as a clinical anesthesiologist at Mass General Hospital.