Heads of Laboratory

Dr Enzo Porrello and Dr James Hudson


MacGregor Building (#64), Room 527


Dr Richard Mills (Postdoctoral Fellow)

Sindhu Igoor (Research Assistant)


Ms Choon Boon (Evangelyn) Sim (PhD student)

Mr Zhibin Ma (PhD student)

Mr Gregory Quaife-Ryan (PhD student)

Ms Holly Voges (Honours student)

Ms Christy McLellan (Honours student)


Due to the very limited regenerative capacity of the adult mammalian heart, diseases that result in cardiomyocyte death, such as myocardial infarction, can have devastating consequences for organ function. In contrast, we recently discovered that the mammalian heart harbours a transient potential for regeneration during neonatal life, which is lost shortly after birth. Similar to the zebrafish and axolotl, the neonatal mouse heart can mount a robust regenerative response following myocardial injury (apical resection and myocardial infarction), which appears to be driven by the proliferation of resident cardiomyocytes. The molecular mechanisms that regulate cardiomyocyte proliferative potential and cardiac regenerative capacity in mammals are poorly understood.

The Laboratory for Cardiac Regeneration at UQ is trying to unravel the molecular mechanisms that regulate cardiac regenerative capacity in mammals. We are using cutting-edge molecular techniques to understand the epigenetic changes that occur during postnatal heart development and regeneration. Our major research interest is in trying to decipher the mechanisms by which large gene regulatory networks are altered in the heart shortly after birth and to understand how these changes contribute to cardiomyocyte maturation and regenerative arrest. We hope to ultimately unravel key mechanisms that bestow the neonate with regenerative potential and re-activate these processes in adulthood for cardiac repair.

Recent publications

  1. Porrello ER, Mahmoud AI, Simpson E, Johnson BA, Grinsfelder D, Canseco D, Mammen PP, Rothermel BA, Olson EN, Sadek HA. Post-infarction regeneration of the neonatal mouse heart. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (In Press) (IF=9.7).
  2. Mahmoud AI, Porrello ER. Turning back the cardiac regenerative clock: lessons from the neonate. Trends in Cardiovascular Medicine. 2012. August 14 [Epub ahead of print] (IF=4.4)
  3. Porrello ER, Mahmoud AI, Simpson E, Hill JA Richardson JA, Olson EN, Sadek H. Transient regenerative potential of the neonatal mouse heart. Science. 2011. 331(6020): 1078-80. (IF=29.7).
  4. Porrello ER, Johnson BA, Aurora AB, Simpson E, Nam Y-J, Matkovich SJ, Dorn GW, van Rooij E, Olson EN. miR-15 family regulates postnatal mitotic arrest of cardiomyocytes. Circulation Research. 2011. 109(6): 670-9. (IF=9.2)
  5. Porrello ER, Pfleger KD, Seeber RM, Qian H, Oro C, Abogadie F, Delbridge LM, Thomas WG. Heteromerization of angiotensin receptors changes trafficking and arrestin recruitment profiles. Cellular Signalling. 2011. 23(11): 1767-76. (IF=4.1)
  6. Porrello ER, Olson EN. Building a new heart from old parts: stem cell turnover in the aging heart. Circulation Research. 2010. 107(11): 1292-4. (IF=9.2)
  7. Porrello ER, D'Amore A, Curl CL, Allen AM, Harrap SB, Thomas WG, Delbridge LMD. The angiotensin II type 2 receptor antagonizes angiotensin II type 1 receptor-mediated cardiomyocyte autophagy. Hypertension. 2009. 53(6):1032-40. (IF=7.2)
  8. Porrello ER, Delbridge LM. Cardiomyocyte autophagy is regulated by angiotensin II type 1 and 2 receptors. Autophagy. 5(8):1215-6. (IF=5.5)
  9. Porrello ER, Bell JR, Schertzer JD, Curl CL, McMullen JR, Mellor KM, Ritchie RH, Allen AM, Lynch GS, Harrap SB, Thomas WG, Delbridge LMD. Heritable pathologic cardiac hypertrophy in adulthood is preceded by neonatal cardiac growth restriction. American Journal of Physiology (Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology). 2009. 296(3): R672-680. (IF=3.7)
  10. Porrello ER, Delbridge LMD, Thomas WG. The angiotensin II type 2 (AT2) receptor: an enigmatic seven transmembrane receptor. Frontiers in Bioscience. 2009. 14: 958-972. (IF=3.0)

Student projects


1. Regulation of neonatal heart development and regeneration by non-coding RNAs.
2. The role of DNA methylation in heart development and regeneration.
3. Developing novel tools for therapeutic modulation of microRNAs.
4. Developing novel tools for cardiomyocyte cell cycle analysis.
5. Modelling human heart development and disease using induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells.

*Projects in the Laboratory for Cardiac Regeneration could involve potential collaborative links with investigators at UT Southwestern Medical Center (USA), Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute (Melbourne) and the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN, UQ).

Research support

NHMRC Early Career Fellowship - Dr James Hudson (2013-2017): Development of new heart failure therapeutics by analysing signalling in heart failure as a network

NHMRC Project Grant - Dr James Hudson (2013-2016): Discovery of novel heart failure therapeutics via development of a next generation therapeutic screening platform: Force-generating human heart tissue micro-arrays

2012-2015 NHMRC Project Grant - Regulation of mammalian heart regeneration by the miR-15 family 

2010-2014 NHMRC/NHF Overseas Based Biomedical Fellowship - Targeting RNA in congenital and adult heart disease 

2015-2017 UQ Postdoctoral Research Fellowship - Developmental Regulation of Mammalian Heart Regeneration by microRNAs 


Dr Porrello's publications in PubMed

Dr Hudson's publications in PubMed

Article about the Cardiac the Regeneration Laboratory which appeared in International Innovation.  International Innovation is the leading global dissemination resource for the wider scientific, technology and research communities, dedicated to disseminating the latest science, research and technological innovations on a global level.