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C. Kwon Lab

Image of self-renewing cardiac progenitor cellsSelf-renewing cardiac progenitor cells

Heart Regenerative Biology

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 due to their unique ability to expand and differentiate into various heart cell types.

Our laboratory focuses on understanding the biology and regenerative potential of multi-potent cardiac progenitor cells by deciphering the molecular and cellular mechanisms that control their induction, maintenance and differentiation. We are also investigating how cardiac muscles undergo maturation. We developed several novel approaches to deconstruct the mechanisms, including the use of animal models and pluripotent stem cell systems. We expect this knowledge will help us better understand heart disease and will be instrumental for stem-cell-based disease modeling and interventions for of heart repair.


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  • Cho GS, Tampakakis E, Andersen P, Kwon C (2017) Using A Neonatal Rat System as A Bioincubator to Generate Adult-like Mature Cardiomyocytes from Human and Mouse Pluripotent Stem Cells. Nature Protocols (in press)
  • Cho GS, Dong IL, Tampakakis E, Murphy S, Andersen P, Uosaki H, Chelko S, Chakir K, Hong I, Seo K, Chen HV, Chen X, Basso C, Houser SR, Tomaselli GF, O'Rourke B, Judge DP, Kass DA*, Kwon C* (2017) Neonatal Transplantation Confers Maturation of PSC-Derived Cardiomyocytes Conducive to Modeling Cardiomyopathy. Cell Reports  18(2):571-582 *co-senior
  • Oh YH, Cho GS, Li Z, Hong I, Zhu R, Kim MJ, Kim YJ, Tampakakis E, Tung L, Huganir R, Dong X, Kwon C*, Lee G*   (2016) Functional Coupling with Cardiac Muscle Promotes Maturation of hPSC-Derived Sympathetic Neurons. Cell Stem Cell  19(1):95-106  *co-senior
  • Uosaki H, Cahan P, Lee DI, Wang S, Miyamoto M, Fernandez L, Kass DA, Kwon C. (2015) Transcriptional Landscape of Cardiomyocyte Maturation. Cell Reports 13(8):1705-16
  • Shenje L, Andersen P, Uosaki H, Fernandez L, Cho GS, Rainer P, Zhong W, Harvey RP, Kass DA, Kwon C (2014) Precardiac Deletion of Numb and Numblike Reveals Renewal of Cardiac Progenitors. eLife 3:e02164
  • Andersen P, Uosaki H, Shenje L, Kwon C. (2012) Non-Canonical Notch Signaling: Emerging Role and Mechanism. Trends in Cell Biology  22(5):257-65
  • Kwon C*, Cheng P, King IN, Andersen P, Shenje L, Nigam V, Srivastava D*. (2011) Notch Post-translationally Regulates β-Catenin Protein in Stem and Progenitor Cells. Nature Cell Biology 13(10):1244-1251 *co-senior