Kirk U. Knowlton, MD 

Professor of Medicine
Chief of Cardiology



Contact Information

UCSD Medical Center
9500 Gilman Dr., #0613K 
La Jolla, CA 92093 
ph (858)822-1364

Dr. Knowlton is the Chief of Cardiology at UC San Diego and the Edith and William M. Perlman Chair in Clinical Cardiology. He is a general cardiologist with a research and clinical interest in infectious causes of heart failure such as viral myocarditis. In addition, he has had an important role in the Pulmonary Thromboendarterectomy Program at UCSD performing diagnostic heart catheterizations and pulmonary angiograms on the patients being considered for pulmonary thromboendarterectomy.

Experience: Dr. Knowlton is a professor of medicine and has been named to “Best Doctors in America” each year from 2005 to 2010. In addition to his clinical interests, Dr. Knowlton has an active molecular and cellular biology laboratory studying heart diseases related to viral infection, immunity, and the intercalated discs in heart cells. He is the principal investigator on an Institutional Training Grant and a Program Project Grant from the National Institutes of Health.

Clinical Interests

Chronic Thromboembolitic Pulmonary Hypertension, Echocardiography

Research Interests

Molecular mechanisms of viral heart disease and cardiomyopathies, as well as regulation of cardiac gene expression during ventricular hypertrophy and failure.

Recent Publications

Kim NHS, Fesler P, Channick RN, Knowlton KU, Ben-Yehuda O, Lee SH, Naeije R, Rubin LJ. Pre-operative measurements of pulmonary artery occlusion pressure correlate with early outcome following thromboendarterectomy for chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension. Circulation, 109:18-22, 2004.

Dorner A, Xiong D, Couch K, Yajima T, Knowlton KU. Alternatively spliced soluble coxsackie-adenovirus receptors inhibit coxsackievirus infection. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 279:18497-18503, 2004.

Knowlton KU, Yajima T. Interleukin-10: biomarker or pathologic cytokine in fulminant myocarditis? Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 44:1298-1300, 2004.

Auger WR, Kerr KM, Kim NH, Ben-Yehuda O, Knowlton KU, Fedulo PF. Chronic thrombo-embolic pulmonary hypertension. Cardiol. Clin. 22:453-466 (2004).

Lim BK, Shin JO, Lee SC, Kim DK, Choi DJ, Choe SC, Knowlton KU, Jeon ES. Long-term cardiac gene expression using a coxsackieviral vector. Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology. 38:745-751 (2005).

Dorner A., Grunert HP, Lindig V, Chandrasekharan K, Fechner H, Knowlton KU, Isik A, Pauschinger M, Zeichhardt H, Schultheiss HP. Treatment of coxsackievirus B3-infected BALOB/c mice with the soluble coxsackie adenovirus receptor CAR4/7 aggravates cardiac injury. Journal of Molecular Medicine, 84:842-851 (2006).

Bang ML. Li X, Littlefield R, Bremner S, Thor A, Knowlton KU, Lieber RL, Chen J, Nebulindeficient mice exhibit shorter thin filament lengths and reduced contractile function in skeletal muscle. J Cell Biol. 173:905-916 (2006).

Trifilo MJ, Yajima T, Gu Y, Peterson KL, Race RE, Meade-White K, Masliah E, Knowlton K, Chesebro B, Oldstone BA. Prion-Induced amyloid heart disease with high blood infectivity. Science 313:94-97 (2006).

Yajima T, Yasukawa H, Jeon ES, Xiong D, Dorner A, Iwatate M, Nara M, Zhou H, Summers-Torres D, Hoshijima M. Chien KR, Yoshimura A, Knowlton KU. An Innate defense mechanism against virus infection within the cardiac myocyte requiring gp130-STAT3 signaling. Circulation. 114:2364-2373 (2006).

Sheikh F, Chen Y, Loang X, Hirschy A, Stenbit AE, Gu Y, Dalton MD, Yajima T, Lu Y, Knowlton KU, Peterson KL, Perriard JC and Chen J. Alpha-E-catenin Inactivation disrupts the cardiomyocyte adherens junction resulting in cardiomyopathy and susceptibility to wall rupture. Circulation, 114:1046-1055 (2006).

Xiong D, Yajima T, Stenbit A, Lim BK, Dublin A, Dalton N, Summers-Torres D, Molkentin JD, Duplain H, Wessely R, Knowlton KU. Cardiac Restricted, Inducible Expression of Enteroviral Protease 2A is Sufficient to Induce Dilated. Circulation, 115:000-000 (2007).