Retinal Vasculature Repair:
Damage to the retinal vasculature often leads to blindness in patients suffering from glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, or retinal vein occlusions. Using a mouse model system, we have shown that hESC-derived hemangioblasts can repair damaged retinas and may help partially restore vision (Regenerative Medicine, 4:37-47, 2009). Our goal is to translate this preclinical data into a safe and effective cell-based therapy for retinal vasculature-afflicted eye diseases.
Each year, an estimated 1.1 million people in the U.S. experience a myocardial infarction, leading to mortality in almost half of these cases. Our preclinical mouse models have shown that hESC-derived hemangioblasts are able to repair blood vasculature and can reduce mortality by 50%. We are examining the mechanism of action underlying this promising observation in order to harness its therapeutic potential.
Ischemic Vascular Therapies:
Ischemia often leads to tissue damage due to insufficient delivery of oxygen/nutrients and a build-up of metabolic waste. We have shown that hESC-derived hemangioblasts can repair damaged vasculature and restore blood flow to ischemic regions in preclinical models (Nature Methods, 4:501-509, 2007). Current research is aimed at exploring this type of ischemic vascular repair in greater detail.