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Thomas LaRocca

Thomas LaRocca

Clinical Assistant Professor
My career in academic medicine has followed an arc within the field of cardiovascular disease,
encompassing mechanisms of platelet activation and thrombus formation to now reaching toward gene
therapy and oligonucleotide strategies in pediatric diseases. Clinically, I have recently completed
fellowship in pediatric critical care medicine at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital and joined the faculty
in the Division of Pediatric Critical Care Medicine in July 2021. My recent research, in cardiovascular
molecular biology and in vivo cardiac physiology, evaluated microRNA regulation of mitochondrial
energetics in heart failure identifying a key gene therapeutic role of an anti-sense oligonucleotide inhibiting
a specific microRNA (antagomir) improving cardiac function. My research focus is now building upon my
expertise in viral vector gene transfer strategies to now participating in the expanding field of
oligonucleotides as a novel therapeutic modality. I am applying what I have learned in pre-clinical
evaluation of gene therapy to cultivating a translational approach to bring gene therapeutic strategies to
humans. I am currently leading patient centered translational research developing oligonucleotide-based pre-clinical development and small (low N) clinical trials.