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April 2, 2019 | 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Category: Seminar
Location: Integrative Biosciences Center IBio Conference Center | Map
6135 Woodward Ave.
Detroit , MI 48202
Cost: Free
Audience: Academic Staff, Alumni, Community, Current Graduate Students, Current Undergraduate Students, Faculty, Staff

The Campus Community is invited to a research seminar  

Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell (iPSC)-derived functional cardiomyocytes for cardiac regenerative therapy

hosted by

the Departments of Pathology, Physiology,

and Ophthalmology, Visual & Anatomical Sciences


The Office of the Vice President for Research

with guest speaker, Rajasingh Johnson, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Department of Cariovascular Medicine

University of Kansas Medical Center

April 2, 2019

12 noon to 1 p.m.

IBio Conference Center

The Wayne State University community is invited to attend a research  presentation with guest speaker, Rajasingh Johnson, Ph.D., associate professor, Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, University of Kansas Medical Center.

The presentation will be held on April 2, 2019 at 12:00 noon in the first floor seminar room of IBio, located at 6135 Woodward. The seminar is free and open to the entire university community. 

Dr. Johnson will present, "Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell (iPSC)-derived functional cardiomyocytes for cardiac regenerative therapy."

Dr. Johnson earned his Ph.D. in zoology at SGPGI Lucknow and Avadh University, India.


Ischemic cardiomyopathies (ICM) continue to be among the leading causes of death in Western countries. Currently, 5.7 million Americans are living with heart failure, and about 10% have advanced heart failure. Although, many important advances in the treatment of heart failure have evolved during the last decade, most focus only on relieving symptoms and preventing disease progression. Thus, an improved treatment or curative regimen is desperately needed. Our long-term goal is to develop an effective therapeutic intervention for chronic ICM that will improve and prolong the lives of millions of people, and potentially eliminate their disease. Cardiac repair with stem cell therapy has emerged as a promising treatment alternative for the ischemic patient population. Successful generation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and their differentiation into induced-cardiomyocytes (iCMCs) have created exciting possibilities, wherein iCMCs may offer a renewable cell source for therapy, disease modeling and drug discovery. We have generated a safe combinatorial approach using DNA and mRNA of pluripotent factors to reprogram normal urinary epithelial (UE) cells into iPSCs, with subsequent differentiation into functional iCMCs as described by us earlier. Recently, our RNA sequencing analysis of iCMC indicated that small cajal body associated RNA20 (scaRNA20) plays an important—and so far, understudied- role in CMC differentiation. We also found that early-stage (day 7) and mid-cardiac progenitor cell (CPC) stage (day 14), and late-stage (day 21) iCMCs exhibit different potential for cell transplantation.  Our preliminary data favors the day 14 (CPC/iCMC) stage for the transplantation with regards to the maturity and its differentiation potential into cardiomyocytes, endothelial cells and smooth muscle cells. Recent results also indicate the important roles of exosomes (stem cell- or progenitor- derived) play in tissue regeneration. Based on these observations, our central hypothesis states that overexpressing scaRNA20 during iCMCs differentiation and selecting an appropriate differentiation stage (day 14) for cell or exosome treatment would induce superior cardiac repair in the chronic ICM patients.  

We hope you can join us for this interesting seminar!  

For more information about this event, please contact Julie O'Connor at 3135775600 or