About Medical Stem Cell Biology

The Medical Stem Cell Biology group has been established in October 2014.

The core themes of the stem cell research group are:

  • Directed differentiation of human stem cells to cardiomyocytes
  • Development of cardiac disease models with human stem cells
  • Cardiomyocyte (dis)function at the intercalated disc

Human pluripotent stem cells (hPSC) have the capacity to form cardiomyocytes. Using hPSC as a source for cardiac differentiation in combination with state-of-the-art technology (gene targeting, advanced light- and EM-microscopy), we aspire to unravel intercellular interactions within the intercalated discs. In particular, clinically relevant gene mutations or alterations, associated with impaired cell-cell interactions (cardiomyopathies) will be generated in hPSC. In mice, both cardiac-specific over-expression and (conditional) knockout of candidates are generated.  Functional parameters, such as contractility, will be measured in cardiomyocytes derived from the transgenic hPSC lines and eventually compared to cardiomyocytes from patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC).