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 the awardee’s chances to obtain and retain a high-quality career position.

Research topic: Advanced Therapeutics of Directly Reprogrammed Endothelial Cells

Cardiovascular diseases, i.e. damaged heart and blood vessels is number one killer in modern society. To overcome the limitation of currently available treatment of these diseases, cell-based therapy to regenerate damaged parts with blood vessel cells has been developed. However, there have been two major obstacles: the limited availability of clinically compatible blood vessels cells, and the low-rate survival of applied cells to the damaged parts of body. To get the usable blood vessel cells, we develop a new strategy to generate blood vessels cells from skin cells in a clinically compatible manner. To have these cells stay and survive longer in the damaged parts of body resulting in execution of prolonged therapeutic effects, we adapt synthetic biomaterials acceptable for body. By combining cells and biomaterials in various forms, we can develop a new platform of cell based therapy. To cure the heart and blood vessel diseases, the regeneration of damaged parts of the body is ultimately needed. By providing blood vessel cells generated from individuals themselves in long-lived environment devised by biocompatible materials, this new platform of cell-based therapy will contribute to improvement of current of treatment of cardiovascular diseases.

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