Dr. Kyuwon Cho, a postdoctoral fellow in the Yoon Lab, received the predoctoral and postdoctoral fellowship in 2016 and 2022 respectively from the American Heart Association (AHA).

AHA predoctoral fellowship enhances the training of promising students in pre-doctoral degree training programs and who intend careers as scientists, physician-scientists or other clinician-scientists, or related careers aimed at improving global health and wellbeing. AHA postdoctoral fellowship enhances the training of postdoctoral applicants who are not yet independent. The applicant must be embedded in an […]

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Dr. Sang-ho Lee, Instructor in the Yoon Lab, received the 2019 American Heart Association Career Development Award.

This award Supports highly promising healthcare and academic professionals, in the early years of one’s first professional appointment, to explore innovative questions or pilot studies that will provide preliminary data and training necessary to assure the applicant’s future success as a research scientist. The award will develop the research skills to support and greatly enhance […]

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Dr. Seongho Bae, a postdoctoral fellow in the Yoon Lab, received the postdoctoral fellowship in 2018 from the American Heart Association (AHA)

The purpose of AHA postdoctoral fellowship is to enhance the training of postdoctoral applicants who are not yet independent. The applicant must be embedded in an appropriate investigative group with the mentorship, support, and relevant scientific guidance of a research mentor. Research topic: Cardiac Repair by enhanced vascularization with ETV2 Ischemic heart disease is the […]

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2018 Cardiology Research Symposium

In June, the Divison of Cardiology hosted the 24th Annual Emory Cardiology Research Symposium, a year-end showcase of work presented by cardiology trainees working on basic science, clinical research, and translational research projects. This forum provided a valuable opportunity for trainees to present the results of their research to their peers and faculty in the division. This […]

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Lee et al., Circulation, 2017

Human pluripotent stem cell (hPSC)-derived endothelial cells (ECs) have limited clinical utility because of undefined components in the differentiation system and poor cell survival in vivo. Here, we aimed to develop a fully defined and clinically compatible system to differentiate hPSCs into ECs. Furthermore, we aimed to enhance cell survival, vessel formation, and therapeutic potential by encapsulating hPSC-ECs with a peptide amphiphile (PA) nanomatrix gel. We induced differentiation of hPSCs into the mesodermal lineage by culturing on collagen-coated plates with a glycogen synthase kinase 3β inhibitor. Next, vascular endothelial growth factor, endothelial growth factor, and basic fibroblast growth factor were added for endothelial lineage differentiation, followed by sorting for CDH5 (VE-cadherin). We constructed an extracellular matrix-mimicking PA nanomatrix gel (PA-RGDS) by incorporating the cell adhesive ligand Arg-Gly-Asp-Ser (RGDS) and a matrix metalloproteinase-2-degradable sequence. We then evaluated whether the encapsulation of hPSC-CDH5+ cells in PA-RGDS could enhance long-term cell survival and vascular regenerative effects in a hind-limb ischemia model with laser Doppler perfusion imaging, bioluminescence imaging, real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction, and histological analysis. The resultant hPSC-derived CDH5+ cells (hPSC-ECs) showed highly enriched and genuine EC characteristics and proangiogenic activities. When injected into ischemic hind limbs, hPSC-ECs showed better perfusion recovery and higher vessel-forming capacity compared with media-, PA-RGDS-, or human umbilical vein EC-injected groups. However, the group receiving the PA-RGDS-encapsulated hPSC-ECs showed better perfusion recovery, more robust and longer cell survival (> 10 months), and higher and prolonged angiogenic and vascular incorporation capabilities than the bare hPSC-EC-injected group. Surprisingly, the engrafted hPSC-ECs demonstrated previously unknown sustained and dynamic vessel-forming behavior: initial perivascular concentration, a guiding role for new vessel formation, and progressive incorporation into the vessels over 10 months. We generated highly enriched hPSC-ECs via a clinically compatible system. Furthermore, this study demonstrated that a biocompatible PA-RGDS nanomatrix gel substantially improved long-term survival of hPSC-ECs in an ischemic environment and improved neovascularization effects of hPSC-ECs via prolonged and unique angiogenic and vessel-forming properties. This PA-RGDS-mediated transplantation of hPSC-ECs can serve as a novel platform for cell-based therapy and investigation of long-term behavior of hPSC-ECs.

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Yanamandala et al., J Am Coll Cardiol, 2017

Transplantations of various stem cells or their progeny have repeatedly improved cardiac performance in animal models of myocardial injury; however, the benefits observed in clinical trials have been generally less consistent. Some of the recognized challenges are poor engraftment of implanted cells and, in the case of human cardiomyocytes, functional immaturity and lack of electrical integration, leading to limited contribution to the heart’s contractile activity and increased arrhythmogenic risks. Advances in tissue and genetic engineering techniques are expected to improve the survival and integration of transplanted cells, and to support structural, functional, and bioenergetic recovery of the recipient hearts. Specifically, application of a prefabricated cardiac tissue patch to prevent dilation and to improve pumping efficiency of the infarcted heart offers a promising strategy for making stem cell therapy a clinical reality.

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Jun et al., Ann Vasc Surg, 2017

Postsurgical secondary lymphedema is usually a progressive and lifelong condition lacking any curative treatment. The aim of this study was to develop new, simple surgical mouse models of chronic lymphedema, better simulating chronic nature of human postsurgical lymphedema. Two experimental mouse models of secondary lymphedema were created surgically without radiation by modifications of the previously described methods: the tail model and the hind limb model. Lymphedema formation was clinically assessed and quantitatively evaluated by measuring circumferences and limb volumes. Postmortem specimens were assessed histologically to examine the efficacy of the models. In the tail models, although a substantial frequency of tail necrosis (30.0%) was noted and the increase in circumference was maintained for only limited times postoperatively depending on the particular tail model, the overall success rate was 65.0%. In the mouse hind limb model, the overall success rate was 88.9%, and the increased circumference and limb volume were maintained over the entire study period of 8 weeks. The overall success rate of the mouse hind limb model was significantly higher than that of the mouse tail model(s). We have successfully established modified mouse tail and hind limb lymphedema models via only surgical techniques without radiation, which have characteristics of chronic secondary lymphedema. The mouse hind limb model has a higher success rate than the mouse tail model and has advantages of having the healthy contralateral hind limbs as an internal control.

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