Disease Focus: Heart Disease

Genetically Modified Hematopoietic Stem Cells for the Treatment of Danon Disease

Research Objective We propose to discover a novel, genetically modified hematopoietic stem cell based treatment for Danon disease, a rare lysosomal storage disease that affects the heart. Impact As the only existing treatment for Danon disease is cardiac transplant, this therapy would significantly meet an unmet need. It also may help many other similar diseases. […]

Microenvironment for hiPSC-derived pacemaking cardiomyocytes

Research Objective This proposal investigates the effects of the microenvironment on the development and maintenance of pacemaking function in human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC)-derived cardiomyocytes. Impact Pacemaking function of hiPSC-derived cardiomyocytes is lost over time. Sustainability of pacemaking function of these cells is critical for engineering an biopacemaker from the patient's own cells. Major […]

Multipotent Cardiovascular Progenitor Regeneration of the Myocardium after MI

Research Objective We developed technology to reproducibly prepare large numbers of bonafide cardiac progenitor cells from patient iPSCs. We propose the first test of these cells as a therapy for myocardial infarction. Impact Heart failure resulting from myocardial infarction is responsible for 13% of human mortality (WHO statistic). This proposed therapy is to restore the […]

Human Cardiac Chip for Assessment of Proarrhythmic Risk

Research Objective This proposal will develop patient specific ‘heart-on-a-chip’ devices that will significantly impact early screening of drugs to accurately predict drug-induced proarrhythmia and toxicity. Impact Patient specific ‘heart-on-a-chip’ device will significantly reduce the cost of bringing a new drug candidate to market while improving efficacy. Major Proposed Activities To improve the maturity of human […]

Direct Cardiac Reprogramming for Regenerative Medicine

Research Objective To develop a gene therapy product to deliver cardiac reprogramming factors into the heart for regeneration of new heart muscle. Impact The proposed candidate would regenerate heart muscle for the 23 million adult and pediatric patients with heart failure, for whom there are currently no disease-modifying therapeutic approaches. Major Proposed Activities Successful conversion […]

Use of Human iPSC-derived Endothelial Cells for Calcific Aortic Valve Disease Therapeutics

Research Objective To develop drugs to treat Calcific Aortic Valve Disease (CAVD), the third leading cause of adult heart disease, by screening a stem cell-based platform based on CAVD patient-derived stem cells. Impact CAVD represents a major unmet medical need, with no treatments other than valve replacement. We will identify drugs, already proven to be […]

Hypo-immunogenic cardiac patches for myocardial regeneration

Research Objective To engineer a cardiac patch to restore function after a heart attack while avoiding an immune response (“hypo-immunogeneic” CP) when transplanted into a genetically distinct (“allogenic”) individual. Impact By making hypo-immunogeneic CPs and functional cardiac cells (induced pluripotent stem, “iPS” cells) available to commercial/research entities, our study can fuel the transformation of healthcare. […]

Targeting progenitors in scar tissue to reduce chronic scar burden

Research Objective Develop novel strategies to treat heart scars by targeting progenitors that replenish scars Impact There currently is no therapy for treating scar tissue in the heart or any other organ. Our proposal would lead to the development of targeted approaches to reduce scar burden. Major Proposed Activities Identify progenitors in scar tissue (murine […]

Activation of patient-specific endogenous myocardial repair through the exosomes generated from the hypoxic iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes (iCMs).

Research Objective This proposal will provide direct evidence of clinical implementation of patient-specific iPSC products by validating the efficacy of autologous, cell-free exosome therapy. Impact Five-year survival of heart failure is a dismal 50% and is top diagnosis of hospital admission. Exosomes offer a feasible and effective cell-free therapy by activating endogenous myocardial repair. Major […]

Exosomal Y-RNAs as mediators of bioactivity of cardiac-derived cell therapy

Research Objective We propose to dissect the contribution of Y-RNAs, small non-coding RNA species enriched in CDC-exosomes, in mediating the effect of CDC-exosomes on cardioprotection and macrophage polarization. Impact Examining the contribution of highly represented RNA species in CDC-exo could allow a better understanding of the mechanism of action of CDC-exo and modulation of their […]