Disease interests include dilated cardiomyopathy, cardiac arrhythmia and ischemic heart disease. We have broad expertise including in development of high throughput screening, especially of complex disease models.
Large numbers of heart muscle cells (cardiomyocytes) die after injury such as myocardial infarction. Unfortunately, the human heart retains little capacity to replace these cells. As a result, ischemic and other injury frequently progresses to heart failure, which remains a major cause of death worldwide. Furthermore, microvasculature, which carries nourishment and oxygen to all muscle cells, is injured in diseases such as diabetes and myocardial infarction, despite reperfusion. Thus, our focus is on developing therapeutics capable of regenerating heart muscle and microvasculature.
Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) are generated from patient biopsied material in a process that reprograms the adult cells to a state resembling cells of the very early embryo. These cells are capable of being coaxed to form all cell types in the body. Using heart cells derived from patient iPSCs, it is possible to reproduce aspects of a patient’s disease in the laboratory. iPSC technology is an invaluable tool for deciphering fundamental disease mechanisms and devising new therapies. We are particularly focused on genetic diseases with limited treatment options.