Disease Focus: Heart Disease


Novel Lipid Nanoparticles for Enhancing eNOS Synthesis for Cardioprotection Post Myocardial Infarction

Research Objective Our therapeutic candidate is a lipid nanoparticle that delivers a therapeutic dose of mRNA to the human heart, which transiently transfects of cells within the heart to improve function after an MI. Impact There is evidence for eNOS therapy as a cardioprotectant post MI; however, the progression of to the clinic has stalled […]

Modified RNA-Based Gene Therapy for Cardiac Regeneration Through Cardiomyocyte Proliferation

Research Objective Efficacious and safe intramyocardial delivery of modified mRNA encoding cell cycle regulators as a gene therapy for cardiac regeneration through resident cardiomyocyte proliferation. Impact This project would provide disease-modifying gene therapy for people with heart failure due to loss of cardiac muscle, a leading cause of deaths in the US, using novel modified […]

Cardiac Reprogramming Gene Therapy for Post-Myocardial Infarction Heart Failure

Research Objective The candidate is a gene therapy that delivers cardiac reprogramming factors to convert resident cardiac fibroblasts into functioning cardiac muscle. Thus, it is a regenerative cardiac gene therapy. Impact The targeted condition is heart failure arising from myocardial infarction or other insults causing focal heart muscle loss. Cardiac muscle cells are post-mitotic and […]

New noncoding RNA chemical entity for heart failure with preserved ejection fraction.

Research Objective Modified synthetic noncoding RNA molecule Impact Heart failure with preserved ejection fraction Major Proposed Activities Lead optimization Perform extensive preclinical testing and select a therapeutic candidate. Develop and test preliminary potency assays based on mechanistic insights. Demonstration of injury-modifying bioactivity in a clinically-relevant human progenitor cell population. Optimize formulation and dosing for intravenous […]

A novel hybrid CRISPR tool for gene network perturbation and hiPSC engineering

Research Objective A CRISPR-based tool for simultaneous up- and downregulation of many (~5-20) genes, and a computational tool using scRNA-seq data to predict which genes to perturb for efficacious cell-type conversion. Impact A critical bottleneck to the creation of specific cell types from stem cells (and related therapies) is our current inability to make cells […]

Hypoxia-specific Production of Exosomes from iPSC-derivatives for Myocardial Repair

Research Objective A lead therapeutic candidate will be selected: 1) exosomes from hypoxia-injured iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes (iCMs), 2) exosomal miRNA cluster, and 3) siRNA inhibition of exosomal target gene, Notch3. Impact Effective targeted therapy to restore the injured and vulnerable myocardium is urgently needed to reduce the high mortality of HF patients. Promising discovery of iPSC […]

Building a hiPSC-based biopacemaker

Research Objective A proof-of-concept biopacemaker constructed by bioprinting hiPSC-derived pacemaking cells and support cells based on the blueprint of the native pacemaking tissue of a large mammalian heart. Impact A hiPSC-based biopacemaker bioprinted using a design of the native pacemaking tissue in the heart, with protective electrical and mechanical insulations, can better sustain the pacemaking […]

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 […]