We use light and magic to study, and maybe one day treat, heart disease. Our cellular models of inherited heart disease and the new ways we study them, might allow cell based repair or drug discovery in the future.
Our central aim is to improve the way we can understand, treat, or avoid heart failure and sudden cardiac death. We pursue three strategies in parallel to deliver this.
Firstly, through direct presence in the Inherited Cardiac Conditions Clinic we identify and make models of inherited cardiac disease using induced pluripotency and in vitro cardiomyocyte differentiation.
Secondly, we develop improved imaging tools and infrastructure to visualise the changes within a single heart beat that cause disease. We do this by borrowing proteins from the natural world which we can alter to tell us about the internal working of a heart cell. Using combinations of genetically encoded tools to control and observe cells we can visualise the rapidly reversible biology which exists on millisecond micrometer scales in cardiomyocytes. We also develop the imaging systems needed to observe these events. This pipeline enables drug toxicity, and drug screening strategies on a scale not previously possible.
Finally, we are involved in the clinical evaluation of intracardiac devices that are currently used to alter the flow of blood within the heart. We want to use these devices to carry new cells to the damaged heart. We can use the same tools that tell us about disease to see if particular materials cause cells to behave abnormally before they are put into patients.
With grateful thanks to those that have previously, or continue to contribute to what we do.
Clinical Studies and Trials
AFR device (Occlutech) for Heart Failure and Pulmonary Hypertension
11/SC/0023 Inducible pluripotent stem cell derived cardiomyocytes as a model system for inherited cardiac disease
Dr Yu-Fen Chang – Post doc 2013-2016 currently National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan
Dr Lee Carpenter – Post doc 2016, currently Adaptimmune