Michiko Watanabe, PhD

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Michiko Watanabe, PhD

Professor of Pediatrics, Anatomy, Genetics

  • Division: Cardiology


Michiko Watanabe, PhD (Professor of Pediatrics, Anatomy, Genetics, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine) investigates the mechanisms of cardiovascular development using a range of in vitro and in vivo approaches. She obtained her undergraduate degree at University of California Berkeley, her Ph.D. at Wesleyan University in Middletown CT, and her fellowship training at Indiana University and CWRU. She has a long track record of research funded by both non-federal (AHA) and federal (NIH, NSF) sources and 70 peer-reviewed papers in high impact journals. Her expertise in cardiovascular development has been sought by grant review committees and editorial boards. Her current collaborative studies probe the relationship between form and function of the cardiovascular system using state of the art biomedical imaging technology. These topics include (1) the study of functional parameters that might distinguish pathological from physiological hypertrophy in rodent models and (2) investigating with Drs. Andrew Rollins and Michael Jenkins and their teams the role of early embryonic heart function in the etiology of congenital heart defects and their prevention. Her current focus is on the etiology of heart defects resulting from prenatal ethanol exposure and cardiac neural crest-related abnormalities. She teaches histology and cardiovascular development at the CWRU Medical School and mentors research investigators at many levels from high school to faculty. Her responsibilities include serving as Director of Fellowship Research in the Division of Pediatric Cardiology. She is Chair of the Asian Women Faculty Group of CWRU and co-leads with Drs. Hua Lou and Jiayang Sun. She is an elected Fellow of the American Association of Anatomists and serves on the Editorial Board of Developmental Dynamics and as Deputy Editor of the journal Birth Defects Research Part C.