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Research Group: Therapeutic Strategies for Heart Repair (Group leader: Dr. med. Philipp Jakob)

The research of the Jakob lab aims to develop novel therapeutic options for heart regeneration and decipher underlying mechanisms that induce division of cardiomyocytes. As the heart muscle is reluctant to undergo sufficient recovery after myocardial injury, loss of contractile tissue leads to maladaptive remodeling and decrease of pump function, resulting in heart failure.

However, experimental and clinical research have shown that cardiomyocyte have the capability to undergo cell division, even in the adult heart. These findings open avenues to develop potential future therapies for patients with heart failure to improve cardiac function. Our research is focused on microRNA, a class of tiny non-coding RNAs that regulate gene expression at the post-transcriptional level. Using high-throughput screening approaches, we identify microRNAs that induce proliferation and cytokinesis in human-derived cardiomyocytes. Our work aims to decipher underlying mechanism that drive miRNA-mediated repair processes using molecular methods and sequencing strategies as well as in vivo models to observe miRNA-induced cardiac regenerative capacity.

Ongoing research lines

  • Development of a MicroRNA-based therapy for induction of cardiac repair processes
  • Biomarkers for differentiation of plaque rupture versus plaque erosion in patients with acute coronary syndrome
  • Risk scores for prognostication in patients undergoing TAVI
  • LAAO in patients with atrial fibrillation undergoing TAVI (TAVI-LAAO Trial)

Research Team

  • Philipp Jakob, MD
  • Yiqi Gong, MD, MD/PhD-Student

Funding

  • Schweizerische Herzstiftung/Swiss Heart Foundation
  • OPO-Stiftung
  • Kurt und Senta Herrman – Stiftung
  • Deutsche Stiftung für Herzforschung/German Heart Foundation (DSHF)
  • DZHK (German Centre for Cardiovascular Research) and the BMBF (German Ministry of Education and Research)  (until 2018)