Yang Lab Research

Dr. Yang's laboratory investigates the fundamental cellular and molecular processes of myocardial restoration. Specifically, innovative therapeutics are translated using multi-modality imaging strategies. Novel cellular biologics are integrated with in vivo molecular and cellular imaging to generate high sensitivity with exquisite spatial and temporal resolution to characterize the salvage of myocardial injury and understand the mechanism of action. Dr. Yang is a PI on NIH/NHLBI funded Cardiovascular Cell Therapy Research Network (CCTRN) UM1 grant, which is designed to conduct multi-center clinical trial on novel stem cell therapy. He has focused on advancing the translation of iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes (iCMs) and investigating their therapeutic potential. In addition, he is a PI on 2 NIH, 1 CIRM, and 3 industry-sponsored research study or clinical trial grants. He received prior funding from CIRM, AHA, NIH K23, NIH K18, and NIHR01 to develop and translate novel stem cell biology, employing advanced in vivo imaging tools. He also directs the Stanford Cardiovascular MRI Program and Cardiovascular Stem Cell Laboratory. This lab employs in vitro and in vivo platforms of myocardial injury, advanced laser beam systems, and novel cellular and molecular imaging technologies to pursue an exceptionally focused investigation of the effects of exosomes on the injured myocardium. The laboratory has established a seamless workflow to generate iPSCs, differentiate into iCMs, and investigate the therapeutic role of iCMs reliably both in vitro and in vivo. These exosomes will create a  paradigm shift across all medical disciplines. The exosomes from the patient-specific iPSC-derived cells will treat many degenerative disorders by triggering and augmenting endogenous repair. The specific areas of research and some of the representative publications are the following:


In vivo cellular and molecular imaging of stem cells

Arai et al., MagnResonMed 2006; Hung et al, Circulation 2008; Li et al, Stem Cells 2008; Hendry  et al., J ThoracCardiovasc Surg 2008; Suzuki et al,   Magn Reson Med 2007, 2008, 2009; Kim et al., Circulation 2012   


Evaluation of stem cell engraftment: reporter gene and cellular MRI

Yamada et al, Magn Reson Med 2009; Chung et al Magn Reson Med  2010; Mahmoudi et al, Nature Scientific Reports 2016


Novel evaluation of peri-infarct region and progressive heart failure

Tsukiji et al, J CardiovascMagnReson 2006; Yokota et al, J Cardiovasc Magn Reson 2008; Heidary et al, JACC, 2010; Dash et al, Circulation             Cardiovasc Imag 2011; Toma et al., JACC Imag 2012; Kim et al, Circulation  2015


Optimal stem cell population

Ge et al, StemCellDev2012


Formation of teratoma by pluripotent stem cell

Chung et al, MagnResonMed 2010, Chung et al, MagnResonMed 2011


Immune rejection of transplanted cells

Ge et al, StemCellDev 2014


Direct cardiac differentiation potential

Wang et al, PlosOne 2012


Cardiac progenitor cells

Vahid et al, Nature, 2016; Chung et al, Circulation, 2014; Chung et al, Circ 2015


Cardiac nano-tissue engineering

Seo et al, Nature Mat 2006; Wang et al, BioMat; Burridge et al. Sci Transl Med 2014


Pre-clinical and clinical translation of cell therapy

Dash et al, Circ Cardiovasc Imaging 2011; Hare et al, Circulation 2013, 2014; Dash et al, JAHA 2016; Kim et al, Circ Res, 2015; Wei et al, Nature; Mahmoudi et al, Nature Sci Rep 2016