Our group studies the cell biology of cardiovascular diseases. We utilize human model systems such as induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) in combination with site-specific genome editing, as well as biochemical, biophysical, and systems medicine approaches.
Using these tools, we investigate the function of genetic variants in heart diseases, such as dilated and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (DCM/HCM), and ischemic heart disease, which are leading causes of heart failure world-wide. Specifically, we are focusing on molecular signalling circuits that regulate intracellular transport processes and organelle function in cardiomyocytes, endothelial cells, and other cells of the cardiac vasculature as well as their interfaces. We study the regulation of mitochondrial metabolism and its contribution to cellular homeostasis also in iPSC-derived neurons at the intersection of cardiac and neuronal diseases.
Our goals are to characterize and rescue molecular patho-phenotypes in human 2D/3D models of iPSC-derived cells as well as in cell types of the heart derived from adult patients. We aim to understand molecular functions in cardiovascular health, disease, and development, and to assess novel therapeutic and regenerative directions for heart failure.