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Sandy  Westerheide

Sandy Westerheide

Sandy Westerheide
Associate Professor


Office: ISA 6208
Phone: 813-974-7269
Lab: ISA 6058



  • Ph.D., Emory University, Atlanta, GA, 1998
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, 1998-2002
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, 2002-2009


Research in my laboratory is directed at understanding the molecular importance of the heat shock response (HSR) on cellular metabolism, aging and disease. The HSR is a universally conserved pathway that allows cells to recover from protein damage induced by heat stress, heavy metals, normal development, and disease states such as neurodegenerative disease and cancer. The heat shock transcription factor HSF1, the master regulator of the HSR, transcriptionally activates molecular chaperones and other genes that are essential for cell survival. We have found that HSF1 is positively regulated by the longevity factor SIRT1. SIRT1 is a metabolically regulated deacetylase that is required for full HSF1 transcription. Our work suggests that HSF1 and SIRT1 together compose a molecular network that connects cell metabolism, stress and lifespan.

Graduate Students

Lindsey Barrett , Andrew Deonarine, Doreen Ikhuva