Using Stem Cells to Regenerate the Heart

Monday 2nd of December 2019, 7pm

Waterstones, Sauchiehall Street

Speaker: Ian McCracken

During a heart attack, a blockage in the blood vessels supplying the heart muscle prevents the delivery of critical oxygen and nutrients, causing a loss of heart muscle and subsequent impairment of heart function. Stem cells are unspecialised cells, capable of undergoing specialisation to many different cell types in response to certain stimuli. Recent advancements in stem cell biology have made it possible to use stem cells to produce different types of heart cells in the lab. Consequently, stem cell derived heart cells offer an exciting future therapeutic strategy to facilitate the regeneration of damaged heart tissue in patients with heart disease.

 Ian McCracken is a PhD student at the University of Edinburgh. He is studying the changes in gene expression which occur when stem cells undergo specialisation to endothelial cells, which line the inner layer of our blood vessels. His research also explores the therapeutic potential of stem cell derived endothelial cells for heart disease.