- To non-invasively study the biology of gene and cell therapies for cardiovascular applications using Molecular Imaging strategies.
- To non-invasively assess the biological pathways involved in atherosclerosis.
Significance and Research Approach
Cardiac gene and cell therapy have appeared as a powerful therapeutic alternative for the treatment of coronary artery disease. However, many questions remain regarding the biology of these therapies remain answered. Molecular imaging provides a unique opportunity to address these critical questions non-invasively.
The lab focuses on the use of molecular imaging modalities (e.g. optical imaging, positron emission tomography, ultrasound) to better understand the biology of cardiac stem cells for cardiovascular applications. One of our main research strategies focuses on the use of reporter gene technology (e.g. luciferases, thymidine kinase, sodium iodine symporter) to study the biological mechanisms underlying survival, proliferation, and differentiation of stem cells, and how they interact with their microenvironment. Our goal is to use these monitoring strategies to assess the efficacy of cardiac gene and cell therapy and used what we learn from our biological studies to design improved therapeutic strategies for cardiovascular diseases.
In parallel, we have an interest in the use of molecular imaging to non-invasively study the different biological pathways underlying coronary heart disease, and how these approaches will lead to a better understanding of the atherosclerotic disease and its consequences, while also leading to a better assessment of different therapeutic strategies.