Laboratory of Stem Cell Biology

Major Research Interest of the Lab

  • Combinatorial approaches of stem cells therapy for myocardial infarction

  • Cell-type specific miRNAs involved in cardiac fibrosis associated to natural ageing process

  • Mesenchymal stem cell-based approaches for treatment of diabetic autoimmunity

Ongoing Projects

  •  Targeting innate immune mechanisms to improve risk stratification and to identify future therapeutic options in myocardial infarction, 2019-2022, INNATE-MI (Eur 1,900,000) - PN-III-P4-ID-PCCF-2016-0172

  • Fundamental mechanisms of post-infarction remodeling in old heart at fibroblast population level, 2021-2023, Inf-OLD (Eur 250,000)- PN-III-P4-ID-PCE-2020-1340

  • miR-210 genomic locus at the overlap between hypoxia signalling and inflammatory networks, 2020-2023, 210-HINT (Eur 100,000)- PN-III-P1-1.1-TE-2019-1893 

Expertise

  • Cell culture: derivation of cell lines (human  and mouse Mesenchymal Stem Cells; huma Endothelial Progenitor Cells, adult and neonatal murine cardiomyocytes, adult cardiac fibroblasts, embryonic stem cells, etc.), in vitro cell culture in hypoxic conditions (H35 hypoxystation, Don Whitley Scientific); isolated heart perfusion using Langendorff system; cell-cell interactions; xCELLigence analysis; metabolic analysis (Seahorse analyzer), biocompatibility assays, 3D culture systems (aggregates, co-cultures, hanging-drops).

  • Microsurgery: mouse model of myocardial infarction or ischemia-reperfusion injury (by permanent or transient ligation of the left coronary artery) and mouse model of hind limb ischemia (by femoral vein ligation and excision); Cell Transplant.

  • Imaging: microscopy (Leica DMi8 inverted microscope and TCS-SP5 confocal microscope), ecocardiography (VEVO 2100), in vivo imaging (IVIS Spectrum, Perkin Elmer), Flow Cytometry (CytoFlex and MoFlo Astrios, Beckman Coulter).

  • Molecular biology: cloning, transfection, qRT-PCR, PCR.

Ongoing Projects

  •  Targeting innate immune mechanisms to improve risk stratification and to identify future therapeutic options in myocardial infarction, 2019-2022, INNATE-MI (Eur 1,900,000) - PN-III-P4-ID-PCCF-2016-0172

  • Fundamental mechanisms of post-infarction remodeling in old heart at fibroblast population level, 2021-2023, Inf-OLD (Eur 250,000)- PN-III-P4-ID-PCE-2020-1340

  • miR-210 genomic locus at the overlap between hypoxia signalling and inflammatory networks, 2020-2022,  210-HINT (Eur 100,000)- PN-III-P1-1.1-TE-2019-1893 

Completed Projects

  • Transnational Research Projects on Cardiovascular Diseases, 2016-2019, EXPERT (Eur 200,000)

  • Improve institutional competitiveness in the field of type 1 diabetes by developing an innovative concept of immunotherapy based on mesenchymal stromal cells, 2016-2020, DIABETER (Eur 2,000,000)

  • Interference with hypoxia-signaling pathways MSC prior to transplantation as a strategy to enhance myocardial recovery post infarction, 2018-2020, OXI-SCENARIO (Eur 100,000)

  • Consolidating the subcutaneous transplantation of MSC as a warranted therapy for myocardial infarction, 2017-2018, Co-SuSTaIn (Eur 60,000)

Current Collaborations

Mircea Ivan, MD, PhD, (Associate Professor of Microbiology & Immunology at Indiana University School of Medicine, USA)

Fabio Martelli, PhD (Molecular Cardiology Laboratory, I.R.C.C.S. Policlinico San Donato, Milan, Italy)

Elisa Liehn, MD, PhD (RWTH Aachen University, Germany)

Nadir Askenasy, MD, PhD (Frankel Laboratory, Centre for Stem Cell Research, Schneider Children’s Medical Centre of Israel)