Regenerative Cardiovascular Biology
“At Penn, we’re discovering real possibilities of future treatments for cardiac diseasebecause we have the research and clinical expertise to make it happen.”
is Director of the IRM Program in Regenerative Cardiovascular Biology and William Wikoff Smith Professor of Cardiovascular Research. Dr. Epstein was a founding Co-Director of the IRM. His research has elucidated a genetic program for the formation of the heart and its vessels from different types of early embryonic cells. His work helps understand the basis of congenital heart disease.
is an Instructor in the Department of Medicine. His work focuses on understanding how cardiac progenitor cells give rise to cardiac myocytes, the muscle cells of the heart. Dr. Jain is also interested in how changes in nuclear architecture influence how a myocyte forms and the implications for heart failure. Dr. Jain is a cardiologist and completed his clinical training at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.
is a cardiologist and Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine. Dr. Arany’s active laboratory focuses on the regulatory mechanisms that underlie metabolic pathophysiology in the cardiovascular system, including metabolic development in both cardiac myocytes on non-myocyte cells. Dr. Arany trained at the Massachusetts General Hospital and the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, and remains an active clinical cardiologist.
The Regenerative Cardiovascular Biology Program seeks to understand how the heart is normally formed during embryonic development, and to use this information to provide new therapies for adults with hearts that are damaged by heart attack, infection, or other diseases. The Program is one of only three nationally recognized American Heart Association DeHaan Myogenesis Centers focused on regenerating functional cardiac tissue. The Program is also supported by a consortium contract with the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute for the study of cardiac progenitor cells.
- Penn researchers have made insights into how to directly turn fibroblasts into cardiac myocytes: Induced regeneration—the progress and promise of direct reprogramming for heart repair. (Addis RC, Epstein JA. Nat Med. 2013 Jul;19(7):829-36.)
- Inhibition of TGFβ signaling increases direct conversion of fibroblasts to induced cardiomyocytes. (Ifkovits JL, Addis RC, Epstein JA, Gearhart JD. PLoS One. 2014 Feb 26;9(2):e89678)
- Researchers at Penn are interested in understanding how the lung normally develops and how it repairs itself.
Repair and regeneration of the respiratory system: complexity, plasticity, and mechanisms of lung stem cell function. (Hogan BL, Barkauskas CE, Chapman HA, Epstein JA, Jain R, Hsia CC, Niklason L, Calle E, Le A, Randell SH, Rock J, Snitow M, Krummel M, Stripp BR, Vu T, White ES, Whitsett JA, Morrisey EE. Cell Stem Cell. 2014 Aug 7;15(2):123-38.)
- Biologists, physicians, and engineers are teaming up to understand how to optimize delivery of functional myocytes:
Injectable and bioresponsive hydrogels for on-demand matrix metalloproteinase inhibition. (Purcell BP, Lobb D, Charati MB, Dorsey SM, Wade RJ, Zellars KN, Doviak H, Pettaway S, Logdon CB, Shuman JA, Freels PD, Gorman JH 3rd, Gorman RC, Spinale FG, Burdick JA. Nat Mater. 2014 Jun;13(6):653-61.)
- Lineage Plasticity: what is the potential of differentiated cells to contribute to repair in vivo.
- Nuclear Architecture: how does repositioning of chromatin within the nucleus affect myogenesis.
- Improve techniques to engraft and visualize engineered cells into hearts.
- Derive iPS lines from patients with cardiovascular disease and previously unreported mutations.
- Understand the metabolic requirements of efficient reprogramming and differentiation into the cardiac lineage.