Join us to hear Dr David Elliott from the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute discuss pluripotent stem cell models of heart development and disease.
Pluripotent stem cell models of heart development and disease
4:00 Tuesday 4 August (refreshments to follow)
Level 5 Seminar Room, Melbourne Brain Centre
Congenital heart disease is the most common form of birth defect, with a prevalence approaching 1 in 100 children. Similarly, cardiovascular disease is a major cause of illness and death in the Western world and is considered “Australia’s most costly disease” requiring an estimated annual expenditure of $5.9 billion. Although the etiologies underlying congenital heart disease and cardiovascular disease differ, the development of new treatments for either condition will be critically dependent on a detailed understanding of how the human heart is formed and how it functions at the cellular and molecular level. Human pluripotent stem cell (hPSC) derived cardiomyocytes are the only tractable platform for illuminating the fine detail of the genetic networks that control human cardiomyocyte cell biology. We have developed a cellular framework to investigate the genetic regulation of human cardiac cell lineage specification. We are now utilizing these reagents and technologies to study heart development using differentiating hPSCs. In addition, we have developed hPSC-based models of a number cardiovascular diseases including cardiac hypertrophy and pulmonary arterial hypertension.
David Elliott completed his PhD the laboratory of Professor Richard Harvey at The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute and The Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute. The focus of David’s PhD was the characterisation of transactivation domains of the homeodomain protein Nkx2-5 and their role in heart development and disease. For his post-doctoral studies David studied Drosophila neurogenesis in the laboratory of Prof. Andrea Brand at the Gurdon Institute, the University of Cambridge. David returned to Australia in 2007 to take up a post-doctoral position in the Embryonic Stem Cell Differentiation laboratory (jointly headed by Profs. Andrew Elefanty and Ed Stanley) at Monash University. During this time he developed a range of technologies and reagents to investigate human heart development using differentiating human pluripotent stem cells as a model system. In 2013 David started his laboratory at the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute. The focus of laboratory is to investigate the genetic control of early human heart development and develop pluripotent stem cell based models of congenital heart disease.