The research program of Martin G. Rodriguez-Porcel, M.D., is focused on three objectives. First, Dr. Rodriguez-Porcel's lab works to noninvasively study the biology of gene and cell therapies for cardiovascular applications using molecular imaging strategies. Second, the team seeks to noninvasively assess the biological pathways involved in atherosclerosis. Third, research is aimed at the development of novel imaging modalities to study the role of the vasculature in the pathophysiology of cardiac and renal diseases.
- Molecular imaging of cell therapy. Dr. Rodriguez-Porcel's lab develops and adapts novel molecular imaging modalities (for example, optical imaging, positron emission tomography and ultrasound) to better understand the biology of stem cells used for cardiovascular applications.
- Vascular abnormalities in polycystic kidney disease (PKD). The overall aim of this project is to investigate the pathophysiology of vascular abnormalities in PKD, which will open the door for new treatments for this disease. The research team uses genomic approaches, together with state-of-the-art imaging modalities such as micro-CT, microultrasound and optical molecular imaging.
- Imaging of atherosclerosis. Researchers in Dr. Rodriguez-Porcel's lab develop, adapt and implement molecular imaging to noninvasively study the different biological pathways underlying coronary heart disease. Ultimately, they translate these modalities to novel imaging strategies that can be used in the clinic, in an approach that will result in better patient care.
Significance to patient care
Dr. Rodriguez-Porcel's entire research program takes questions originated from clinical practice and is focused on improving patient care. This translational research program sits at the crossroads between basic research and clinical practice. With atherosclerosis being the most common cause of death, cell therapy the most important therapeutic development in the last few decades and PKD the most common genetic cause of renal failure, outcomes from these studies have the potential for significant clinical implications.
- Recipient, Discovery Science Award, "Understanding the Interaction of Stem Cells and Scaffolds With Host Tissue: Implications of Regenerative Medicine," Regenerative Medicine Minnesota, 2020-2022