Cardiac Regeneration

The Cardiac Regeneration Group studies the molecular and cellular mechanisms that govern heart development and regeneration. We are focused on the development of novel regenerative therapies for congenital and acquired forms of heart disease based on a deep understanding of developmental biology. Our laboratory employs a range of cutting edge technologies including patient-matched stem cells, genome editing, genomic sequencing and animal models to identify new drug targets for heart regeneration. We are working closely with clinicians and scientists both nationally and across the Melbourne Children’s precinct to foster knowledge transfer and translation of research discoveries from bench to bedside.

Group Leaders: 
Group Members: 
Dr Celine Vivien
Role: 
Senior Research Officer
Evangelyn Sim
Role: 
Research Officer
Kathy Karavendzas
Role: 
Research Assistant
Elizabeth Qian
Role: 
PhD Student
Julian Stolper
Role: 
Occupational Trainee
Lauren Craig
Role: 
PhD Student

Post-natal control of cardiac gene regulatory networks
Epigenetic modifications are critical for the precise temporal regulation of gene expression during heart development. We are trying to map the changes in the genomic landscape during post-natal heart development to identify the molecular drivers of cardiac regeneration during early developmental stages.

Modelling human heart development using human cardiac organoids
Recent advances in stem cell sciences and tissue engineering are providing unparalleled opportunities to generate human heart tissues in a dish. We are using human cardiac organoids to understand the mechanisms that regulate the developmental maturation of human heart muscle.

Functional genomic screens for cardiovascular drug discovery
We are also applying unbiased screening approaches to identify novel therapeutic candidates for cardiac regeneration in human cardiac organoids.

Collaborations: 
  • Dr James Hudson, The University of Queensland
  • Dr David Elliott, Murdoch Children's Research Institute
  • Prof Igor Konstantinov, Royal Children’s Hospital
  • Prof Assam El-Osta, Monash University
  • Dr Paul Gregorevic, Baker Heart Research Institute
  • A/Prof Mathias Francois, Institute for Molecular Bioscience, UQ