Pondering about regeneration is as old as civilization. First written reports by Empedocles or Aristotle describing the observation that certain animals can regenerate their appendages can be found as early as 400 years BC. In 1740, Abraham Trembley perturbed, analyzed and dissected the process of regeneration of hydra, which is considered to be the birth of “Experimental Biology”.
Our laboratory focuses on heart regeneration as ischemic heart disease is one of the leading causes of death and congenital heart disease is the most common type of birth defect. In order to develop and to assess the potential of cardiac therapies our laboratory studies cellular and molecular mechanisms of heart development and naturally occurring cardiac regeneration. In addition, we explore tissue engineering approaches as alternative strategy. To accomplish our goals we utilize several techniques including bioinformatic tools, in vitro cell assays, knock out technologies in mice and in zebrafish as well as disease models. Currently, we are expanding our efforts towards kidney research.
The laboratory focuses on the following questions: