As heart disease is the leading cause of death in the world, our group is interested in understanding cardiac development and disease at the molecular level in order to develop novel therapies for heart diease. Particularly, we are focused on deciphering the roles of stem cells and stem cell-derived cells in cardiac development, disease and regeneration. We are using a variety of cutting-edge molecular biology and imaging techniques, modulation of signaling pathways by known factors or small molecules, basic cardiac tissue engineering techniques and induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) approach for disease modelling. We are in collaboration with other research institutes for employing genome editing techniques for correcting disease causing mutations in iPSCs that we derive from cardiac patients. We will use these genetic editing approaches in-house. In addition, we are planning to acquire rodent animal models of cardiac arrythmias, in order to develop and conduct stem cell-based therapies.
Currently, we are a team of 4 graduate students under supervision of Assist. Prof. Esra Cagavi. Our research is funded by competitive grants from The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK) under 1003, 1001 and COST calls. Our research center has a strong infrastructure and equipped with the technology required for the success of our projects. Currently, with the support of our research grant, we have purchased Cardio-ECR xCELLigence system (ACEA Biosciences) which has the most advanced high-troughput technology for monitoring beating and electrical activity of cardiomyocytes in real time. We are open and seeking for collaborations with research groups who have similar interests.
Asst. Prof. Esra Çağavi