Heart Foundation visits Cardiac Regeneration Laboratory

17 Oct 2016

The University of Queensland’s Cardiac Regeneration Group has presented its cutting-edge research to staff and supporters of the Queensland Heart Foundation.

The School of Biomedical Sciences hosted a unique behind-the scenes tour of the group’s facilities, which are focussed on findings ways to repair or replace heart muscle cells which die following a heart attack.

Donning lab coats and safety goggles, the visitors were invited into the tissue culture and microscope rooms, as well as the open laboratory.

The demonstration showed heart cells, derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells, growing and contracting in specialized cell culture dishes.

Joint laboratory head Dr Enzo Porrello was awarded the 2015 Heart Foundation Paul Korner Innovation Award for the most innovative Future Leader Fellowship. 

The team also demonstrated how zebrafish regenerate heart tissue, and how this research might be applied to human heart cells, to overcome the regenerative block.

“Following a heart attack, millions of cardiomyocytes die within the space of a few hours and the majority of these cells are not regenerated,” Dr Porrello said.

“This is what ultimately leads to heart failure.”

Dr Porrello said the tour was a great opportunity to update the Heart Foundation and donors on the exciting progress which the lab has made.

“They were incredibly enthusiastic about our work, and asked some very insightful questions about what it might mean for heart attack patients in the future,” Dr Porrello said.

“We look forward to continuing what has been an extremely valuable and productive relationship.”

Media: Kim Lyell, k.lyell@uq.edu.au, +61 7 33465214, 0427 530647.