Dr David Elliott

 - Partner Investigator

Research focus: Use of pluripotent stem cells generated from adult cells to study human heart development and disease

Dr David Elliott’s research exploits the potential of hESC derived cardiomyocytes (hESC-CMs) to address major issues in human cardiac biology. He has generated genetically modified hESC lines in which the green fluorescent protein (GFP) expression marks developing cardiomyocytes. Using these lines, he has developed reproducible protocols for the production and isolation of hESC derived cardiomyocytes and cardiac progenitor cells, in chemically defined media.

The system Dr Elliott has established has allowed him to develop a multi-disciplinary approach with international and Australian researchers. This research programme has a set of unique reagents and methodologies that allow i) the analysis and optimisation of the successive stages of stem cell differentiation toward cardiomyocytes, ii) the electrophysiological, pharmacological characterisation of hESC-CMs iii) analysis of hESC-CMs function in xenograft models of cardiac disease and iv) identification of cell surface markers for the facile purification of CMs from nongenetically tagged cells lines (e.g. iPS). 

Dr Elliott will contribute to the Stem Cells Australia by i) assisting in the production, isolation and characterisation of cardiac progenitor cells and CMs from the disease specific iPSC ii) the production of human cardiac stem cells in vitro for comparative analysis with the murine studies conducted in the Harvey & Rosenthal laboratories and iii) continued collaborations with Elefanty/Stanley laboratory exploring the signalling mechanisms underlying cell fate choice in the embryoid body system.