A partnership between UW and WSU

Washington Center for Muscle Biology

research . training . discovery . treatment

Nelson lab

Can heart failure be cured by a hibernating grizzly bear?  In a way, YES!

The Nelson lab is working to understand how grizzly bear hearts atrophy (shrink) during hibernation and then rapidly hypertrophy (grow) after the bears emerge in the spring. These changes are purely adaptive, meaning that they are highly beneficial, as when an athlete’s heart hypertrophies, and not pathological, as can occur with hypertension or after a heart attack.

So what’s the difference between the good and bad kind of cardiac hypertrophy?  How do these conditions differentially develop?  Maybe you should ask a grizzly bear, or better yet, Dr. Nelson.

If you would like more information on Dr. Nelson’s research program, on nature’s answers to heart failure or if you are interested in supporting this exciting research, send us your questions.


  1. Biology Definition said on March 24, 2016:

    Nelson Lab do good work. I like it.

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