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Daniela Pezzolla

Postdoctoral Researcher

I obtained my PhD in Molecular Biology and Biomedicine at the University of Seville (CABIMER), working on the optimization of a step-wise protocol that, mimicking the stages of in vivo pancreas organogenesis, induced human embryonic stem cells differentiation toward a beta-cell-like phenotype. I then moved to the Centre for Regenerative Therapies of Dresden, in Germany, where I had the opportunity to continue working in the field of diabetes, focusing more in detail on the signalling pathways involved in the stage-specific stem cells differentiation. Finally, I moved to Oxford where I had the chance to keep working on regenerative medicine while exploring the immune and cardiovascular systems.

Here, as a BHF-CRM Oxbridge postdoctoral researcher, I work in a collaborative project between Prof. Choudhury (CVMed) and Prof. Riley (DPAG).

My project focuses on the role of the innate immune system after heart injury, aiming to investigate for new regenerative medicine strategies.

After myocardial infarction (MI), the neonatal heart can regenerate functional cardiomyocytes meanwhile the adult heart heals through a process of scarring in which previously healthy muscle is replaced by non-contractile fibrous tissue. Macrophages are essential to both these processes, thus representing a potential target to reactivate the regenerative capacity that is present in the neonate but lost in adult life.