Role of Spalt-like Gene in Cardiac Development

Doctor's Name: 
Chulan Kwon
Hospital/Institution: 
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Collaboratively awarded through the CHF and AHA Congenital Heart Defect Research Awards

(Total Grant Amount $154,000; CHF portion = $47,567.52)

Congenital heart disease is the most frequent type of birth defect and a leading cause of birth defect-related infant illness and death. During fetal development, cardiac progenitor cells (CPCs) serve as building blocks to make the heart and abnormal CPC development is closely associated with congenital heart disease. Thus, it is crucial to understand the biology of CPCs.

The proposed research aims to understand how CPCs multiply before becoming heart cells by investigating the mechanisms of genetic factors and signaling that are directly linked to human congenital heart disease. To do this, we will utilize mice and stem cells as experimental models.

This knowledge will provide fundamental insights into how improper regulation of factors affecting CPC multiplication can lead to congenital heart disease, which may provide a new direction for preventive or therapeutic approaches. In addition, the knowledge gained from this work might be directly applied to control CPCs in a dish, which will accelerate CPC-mediated heart regenerative research to repair heart disease.

Award Date 1: 
2017
Award Amount 1: 
$47,567.52