Faculty Profile

John Calvert

John W. Calvert, PhD

Associate Professor of Surgery, Cardiothoracic Research Laboratory, Department of Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine

Member, Molecular and Systems Pharmacology Graduate Program, Emory University School of Medicine

Telephone: 404.686.1832

Email: jcalver@emory.edu

Year Joined Emory as a Faculty Member: 2008


Dr. Calvert's primary research focuses on the pathophysiology of cardiovascular disease, with recent studies investigating the ability of hydrogen sulfide to activate cytoprotective-signaling cascades in the settings of acute myocardial ischemia and heart failure. This research has demonstrated that a concentrated administration of hydrogen sulfide either prior to ischemia or at reperfusion significantly ameliorates in vivo myocardial ischemia-reperfusion injury in mice, with a clear reduction in myocardial infarction, oxidative stress, apoptosis, and contractile dysfunction. These studies have also found that hydrogen sulfide significantly attenuates the progression of ischemic-induced heart failure and improves survival following myocardial infarction. Dr. Calvert's lab has identified the transcription factor Nrf2 as a major cellular target for hydrogen sulfide and a possible regulator of the cardioprotective effects it induces, and is examining how hydrogen sulfide activates Nrf2 in models of heart failure and diabetes.

Other projects are evaluating the cardioprotective signaling mechanisms of voluntary exercise training, particularly the role of nitric oxide and beta-adrenergic signaling.

Grant awards from the National Institutes of Health and the American Diabetes Association have supported Dr. Calvert's research since he established his independent laboratory in 2008, and his findings have been published in such high impact journals as Circulation, Circulation Research, and Atherosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology.


View Dr. Calvert's publications in PubMed.


  • PhD in Physiology (received 2005), Loma Linda University

  • Postdoctoral Fellowship in Molecular Cardiology, Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, 2006-2008

Current Organizational Memberships

  • American Heart Association (AHA), Fellow

  • AHA Council on Basic Cardiovascular Sciences: Chairman, Membership/Communications Committee; Member-at-Large, Leadership Committee; International Mentoring Chair

  • American Physiological Society

  • American Diabetes Association

  • International Society of Heart Research

Current Editorial Positions

  • Associate Editor, Medical Gas Research

  • Editorial Board, Frontiers in Striated Muscle Physiology

  • Academic Editor, PLOS ONE

Honors and Awards

  • Best Poster Award-Core Five, AHA Scientific Sessions, 2011

  • Best of AHA Specialty Conferences Poster Award, AHA Scientific Session, 2010

  • Lars-Erik Gelin Conference Travel Award, 25th Conference of the European Society for Microcirculation Integrating Vascular Biology & Medicine, Basic and Clinical Science, Budapest, Hungary, 2008

Research Interests

  • Mechanisms of cardioprotection in the setting of acute myocardial ischemia-reperfusion injury and heart failure

  • Cardioprotective signaling mechanisms of hydrogen sulfide in heart failure and the diabetic heart

  • Cardioprotective signaling mechanisms of exercise