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C. Kwon Lab

Heart malformation is the most frequent form of human birth defects, and cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death worldwide. The limited regenerative capacity of the heart is a major factor in the morbidity and mortality rates. Cardiovascular progenitor cells hold tremendous therapeutic potential for cardiac regenerative medicine due to their unique ability to expand and to differentiate into various heart cell types. Our research program focuses on deciphering the molecular and cellular mechanisms that regulate the maintenance and differentiation of cardiovascular progenitors, which will greatly broaden our understanding of congenital heart diseases and how to expand and direct them into specific cardiac cell lineages for therapeutic purposes.

Heart malformations Top left,Expanding embryonic stem cell colony. Bottom left,Embryoid bodies expressing red fluorescent protein (RFP) in cardiovascular progenitors. Right, Mouse embryo expressing RFP in cells originated from cardiovascular progenitors. In-vitro differentiating cardiovascular cells are shown in the background.

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