MD, 1996 - Technion, Israel
PhD, 1999 - Technion, Israel
Using pluripotent stem cells to investigate cardiovascular physiology and pathology
My research group applies emerging pluripotent stem cell technologies to cardiovascular studies. Current research topics include: 1, developing novel cell therapy and tissue engineering strategies for treatment of cardiac disorders (heart failure and cardiac arrhythmias); 2, drug screening and discovery; and 3, disease modeling of inherited cardiac disorders. In the case of cardiac disease modeling, human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) are established from patients with different types of inherited cardiomyopathies (such as dilated, hypertrophic and metabolic cardiomyopathies) or arrhythmogenic syndromes (long QT syndrome and catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia - CPVT). These disease states can result in sudden cardiac death in otherwise healthy individuals. The patient-specific hiPSCs lines are coaxed to differentiate into cardiomyocytes, which then are characterized using detailed molecular, structural and functional analyses. These studies are expected to provide new mechanistic insights into inherited cardiac disorders, to allow optimization of patient-specific therapies (personalized medicine), and to facilitate development of new therapies.
Human heart cell generated from induced pluripotent stem cells.
Itzhaki I, Maizels L, Huber I, Gepstein A, Arbel A, Caspi O, Miller L, Belhassen B, Nof E, Glikson M, Gepstein L. 2012. Modeling of catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia with patient-specific human induced pluripotent stem cells. J Am Coll Cardiol. 60, 990-1000.
Itzhaki I, Maizels L, Huber I, Zwi-Dantsis L, Caspi O, Winterstern A, Feldman O, Gepstein A, Arbel A, Hammerman H, Boulos M, Gepstein L. 2011. Modelling the long QT syndrome with induced pluripotent stem cells. Nature. 471, 225-229.
Zwi L, Caspi O, Arbel G, Huber I, Gepstein A, Park IH, Gepstein L. 2009. Cardiomyocyte differentiation of human induced pluripotents stem cells. Circulation. 120, 1513-1523.