The editors of the Methodist DeBakey Cardiovascular Journal extend their deepest gratitude to Dale J. Hamilton, M.D., for serving as guest editor of this special issue on cardiac metabolism and cardiovascular disease. Dr. Hamilton serves as the Elaine and Marvy A. Finger Distinguished Chair for Translational Research in Metabolic Disorders and is professor of Clinical Medicine at the Houston Methodist Institute for Academic Medicine. He is also a full clinical member of the Houston Methodist Research Institute and director of the Center for Bioenergetic and Metabolic Research at Houston Methodist Hospital.
After an undergraduate focus on cellular molecular biology and medicine, Dr. Hamilton received his medical degree from Saint Louis University School of Medicine followed by post-graduate training in medicine, endocrinology, and laboratory research. His early professional career combined clinical practice and graduate medical education. His transition to clinical translational research began in 2002, when he collaborated with colleagues on clinical treatment trials and orthotopic human islet transplantation. By 2006, his research honed in on laboratory translational issues related to mitochondrial substrate oxidation and energy transfer in failing organ systems such as the human heart.
In 2013, Dr. Hamilton established a bioenergetic research initiative at Houston Methodist Research Institute with the goal of identifying mechanisms of altered energy transduction in disease states, especially those involving high-energy tissues. Early and ongoing investigations have focused on myocardial energetics in the failing heart. Evolving projects now include the mechanistic study of energy strategies in neoplasia and bioenergetic changes associated with estrogen deficiency. A recent project addresses the challenge of transferring functional mitochondria into energy-altered tissue such as the failing cardiomyocyte and investigating energy transfer mechanisms in growing neoplastic cells, with investigative methods including the use of preclinical models, tissue cultures, and human tissue for analysis.
Dr. Hamilton is a prolific researcher, having published dozens of papers related to bioenergetics, molecular medicine, diabetes/endocrine disorders, and diabetic complications. His collaborations have led to research funding from the American Heart Association, the National Institutes of Health, the Houston Methodist Foundation, and the George and Angelina Kostas Research Center.