Research focus

The Stem Cell and Disease Modeling research group (SCDM) builds on long term experience with human pluripotent stem cells, their cultivation and differentiation. Current focus of the group aims at use of human pluripotent stem cells to model human diseases which lead to cardiomyopathy and heart failure with special focus on progressive cardiomyopathies caused by cardiac progenitor depletion and heart remodeling due to cardiac progenitor genome instability. The SCDM uses reprogrammed human patient cells as well as human embryonic stem cells with edited genome to create models of monogenic diseases involving cardiomyopathy. The group also complements stem cell based modeling by analysis of both, animal models and human samples. The SCDM team has also developed novel technology to analyze mechanoelectrical coupling in stem cell derived patient specific cardiac syncytium based on atomic force microscope.

Research objectives

  • To determine the extent and mechanisms of heart progenitor depletion in human DMD patients using patient specific hiPSCs.
  • To characterize novel DNA repair pathway in human pluripotent stem cells and determine the effect of its failure on depletion of stem cells in human progressive heart failure with delayed onset (using DMD model).
  • To determine the mechanism of autocrine and paracrine signaling of basic fibroblast growth factor in pluripotent stem cells.

Main partners

  • University of Montpellier, Montpellier, France
  • University of Texas,San Antonio, TX, USA
  • University Medical Center Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany

Team members

  • Mgr. Vladimír Rotrekl, Ph.D.
  • Mgr. Bc. Deborah Beckerová
  • Mgr. Petr Fojtík
  • MUDr. Martin Pešl, Ph.D.
  • Bc. Roberto Pivato, MSc.
  • Martin Šenfluk
  • Ing. Monika Siekelová

Principal Investigator

Mgr. Vladimír Rotrekl, Ph.D.
Mgr. Vladimír Rotrekl, Ph.D.
Principal Investigator