Stem cell transplantation: Imaging of stem cell biology

In the stem cell biology imaging project, the Cardiovascular Molecular Imaging Laboratory is developing imaging strategies to help improve understanding of the biology of stem cells after transplantation.

Dr. Rodriguez-Porcel's overall goal is to develop and use new imaging strategies to assess the efficacy of cardiac gene and cell therapy.

Findings from the lab's biological studies will then be used to design improved therapeutic strategies for cardiovascular diseases.

The research team has optimized reporter gene imaging methods to monitor the fate of transplanted stem cells, and gained a better understanding of some of the factors that affect their survival. In addition, the lab has led studies translating these studies to large animals (swine, the most common animal model for cardiovascular diseases).

Dr. Rodriguez-Porcel's laboratory is particularly interested in the role that the myocardial microenvironment plays in the biology and survival of transplanted stem cells.