Proteomic Characterization of Epicardial-Myocardial Signaling and Regenerative Activity

Type of Award: Catalyst
Date Awarded: February 2013
Award End Date: January 2015
Amount Awarded: $ 200,000.00
PI(s): Q. Tian Wang, PhD, UIC; Hans-Georg Simon, PhD, NU;

Abstract: Each year, about 650,000 people in the United States survive a heart attack only to have a scar replace the damaged muscle tissue. The loss of muscle can have severe consequences over time, often leading to congestive heart failure and death. As the infarcted heart does not heal by itself, one of the goals of regenerative medicine is to replace the damaged tissue with viable muscle that is physiologically normal in its contractile and conductive properties. Current research in cardiac repair is focused on the use of stem cells, an approach that has several inherent disadvantages. Recent studies suggest that the epicardium - the outer layer of cells that cover the heart muscle - harbors dormant progenitor cells that can be activated and serve as a source for new cardiomyocytes. Here we seek to capitalize on the expertise in place in two major Chicago research institutions and combine efforts and unique resources in a synergistic manner to identify novel protein targets for the stimulation of epicardial cells for resident-cell-based cardiac repair. The successful outcome of the planned studies will be a significant step forward to enhance cardiac repair in humans.