Robert G. Gourdie, PhD

Robert G. Gourdie, PhD

Professor Robert Gourdie co-founded FirstString Research, Inc. in 2005. Gourdie is Director of the Center for Heart and Regenerative Medicine (CHARM) at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute (VTCRI). His VTCRI Center is made up of four independent research teams, numbering some 30 scientists working primarily in the cardiovascular sciences. Gourdie has been continuously funded by the NIH since 1997, including as Program Director of a $7m Program Project Grant. He has authored 150+ peer-reviewed publications (H index= 46) on heart development and function, wound healing and cancer. He holds more than a dozen issued patents, with another 50 patent applications pending. His research is on the connexins – proteins key to intercellular communication. This includes basic mechanisms of cardiac bio-electricity and translational research on drugs targeting connexin function in heart disease, wound healing and oncology. Gourdie received his PhD from the University of Canterbury (New Zealand) in 1990 and did post-doc training at University College London (United Kingdom) as a British Heart Foundation Fellow. Prior to joining Virginia Tech, Gourdie was Professor at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, SC (USA) from 1995 to 2012.