GRANT and AWARDS SERIES (European Research Council): Milena Bellin
Pubblicato il: 11.12.2020 09:17
Human mini hearts: looking for culprits and victims in cardiac disease
Cardiac disease causes morbidity and mortality as frequently as cancer. Using a multidisciplinary approach, Dr. Bellin will combine human stem cells, their differentiation into distinct cell types of the heart, biophysical assays, and tissue engineering to build a three-dimensional cardiac microtissue or “mini-heart”. With these tools she will identify cell-types responsible of disease and identify new therapeutic options for sudden cardiac death.
Milena Bellin is Assistant Professor at the Dept. of Biology, University of Padova (Italy) and group leader at the Veneto Institute of Molecular Medicine (Padova) and at the Dept. of Anatomy and Embryology, Leiden University Medical Center (the Netherlands). She received a PhD in Genetics and Molecular Biology of the Development at the University of Padua, Italy. She then pursued her long-standing interest in human pluripotent stem cell (hPSC) biology and merged it with her expertise in cardiac genetics by joining the group of Prof. K-L. Laugwitz as a post-doctoral fellow at the Technical University of Munich, Germany; she described one of the first hPSC models of an arrhythmic disease of the heart, called long-QT syndrome. After receiving a personal Marie Curie Fellowship, she joined Prof. C. Mummery’s laboratory where she derived the first cardiac isogenic hPSC pairs to investigate molecular mechanisms underlying inherited cardiac arrhythmia. Since then, she has established her own group, leading a team focused on molecular and electrophysiological characterization of patient-specific hPSC-derived cardiomyocytes, developing hPSC-based platforms for drug-screening and safety pharmacology, and generating new three-dimensional cardiac microtissue models. She is part of the Institute for human Organ and Disease Model technologies (hDMT, www.hdmt.technologies), linking stem cell biology with engineering, physics and chemistry in the Netherlands.