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Basic Science Research & Innovation

Learn more about what cutting-edge basic science research our investigators are doing here.

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Regenerative and Nanomedicine Technologies

HeRO investigators are working on ground-breaking research to provide cellular and nano-level therapies for various cardiac disorders including congenital heart disease (CHD).

CHD often results in right ventricular heart failure (RVHF), a major player in birth-defect related mortality. Dr. Michael Davis's team have been investigating the use of stem-cell laden cardiac patches as an avenue to combat RVHF. They developed a patch with electrospun polycaprolactone (PCL) nanofibers and embedded neonatal or child cardiac ckit+ progenitor cells to study the reparative effects of this construct.  Find out more about Dr. Davis's work here.

HeRO investigators Dr. William Mahle and Dr. Michael Davis along with Children's Healthcare of Atlanta clinicians, University of Miami and Univeristy of Maryland Medical Center teams will lead a clinical trial implanting patient-derived stem cells into the hearts of babies with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrom (HLHS). This trial will open the door for more patient-specific cellular therapies for pediatric heart diseases. Full details are available here.


Cardiac Development

HeRO members are leading cutting-edge research to better understand cardiac development and the root causes of different CHDs.


Recently, Dr. Holly Bauser-Heaton and Dr. Vahid Serpooshan developed a patient-specific 3D-bioprinted model of pulmonary artery (PA) stenosis, a common physiological abnormality in many CHDs. Their model can be used  train proceduralists and surgical teams in current interventions, as well as in developing novel therapeutic approaches to treat various vascular anomalies. The full story can be viewed here.

Another cardiac development study, led by Dr. Chunhui Xu and in partnership with NASA and CASIS, is working to understand how cardiac cells develop in space. The study is taking place on the International Space Station and will examine the effects of space's low gravity environment on the cardiac development of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). The full story can be read here

Dr. Hee Cheol Cho and his group developed a small animal model for Complete atrioventricular block (CAVB) to understand disease progression and pathophysiology and also develop suitable therapies. Their adult rate model can recapitulate CAVB induced arrythmogenicity and  structural remodeling. Learn more about their work here.

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