Research in Dr. Beard’s laboratory is focused on systems engineering approaches to understanding the operation of physiological systems in health and disease. One of the major projects of the group is on theoretical and experimental characterization of the thermodynamics, kinetics, and electrophysiology of mitochondria. Dr. Beard’s group has determined how mitochondrial ATP synthesis in the heart is physiologically controlled how this feedback mechanism breaks down in heart failure.
Additional research projects in the Beard group include analysis of large-scale biochemical systems, whole-body cardiovascular mechanics and transport, blood-flow regulation, mechanisms of renal solute transport. Dr. Beard is the Director of the Virtual Physiological Rat (VPR) project. The VPR project is an international collaboration, supported as an NIH National Center for Systems Biology, working to analyze, interpret, simulate, and ultimately predict physiological function in health and disease. VPR research is coordinated at the University of Michigan, with six additional partner institutions around the world, and in close collaboration with the European Commission’s Virtual Physiological Human (VPH) Network of Excellence. Dr. Beard has authored over 100 peer-review publications, and two textbooks.