My lab is currently focusing on human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) including hESCs and hiPSCs that are derived by reprogramming somatic cells (collected from skin, blood or urine samples) with defined transcriptional factors.
We are interested in a wide spectrum of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), especially a diversity of cardiomyopathies, channelopathies, arrhythmic disorders and hypertension. By using the patient-specific hiPSCs, we are trying to differentiate them into patient-specific hiPSC-CMs or hiPSC-ECs in a high-efficient and high-quality manner. By combined techniques of stem cell biology, directed differentiation, electrophysiology, Ca2+ imaging, next-generation sequencing (NGS), pharmacology and biochemistry, we seek to understand both the basic and translational aspects of interested CVDs, including:
- Development of hiPSC-based disease models;
- Studying the disease phenotypes and exploring the molecular mechanisms;
- Personalized drug development and screening (therapeutic efficacy and cardiac toxicity screening) in a high-throughput fashion.
Besides, we will apply the genome editing technique to the existing hESC or hiPSC lines in 2 ways:
- To make an ‘enhanced version’of disease model by editing genome in normal hESC or hiPSC line;
- To rescue the disease phenotype by erasing off specific mutated gene of existing diseased hiPSC line (gene correction).
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