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Zebrafish Heart Development and Regeneration

Cardiovascular diseases represent the number one cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide, affecting a broad spectrum of ages from babies that are born with congenital heart defects to adults that suffer acute myocardial infarctions and/or develop congestive heart failure over time. Our research program is motivated by the simple assumption that we can use the zebrafish as a model organism to understand how the cardiovascular system is established during development and how it efficiently regenerates following injury during adulthood.Specifically, we are: (1) creating zebrafish models of CHDs to implicate human genetic variants as causal for disease pathogenesis and to uncover mechanism of action, and (2) identifying critical factors regulating cardiomyocyte proliferation with the long-term goal of coaxing human hearts towards regeneration instead of scarring. 


August 4, 2023

We enjoyed hosting Rivers School interns

Shelby Whitaker and Caroline Chung over the

past 6 weeks. 


June 24, 2023

Congratulation to Olivia Weeks on her platform presentation at the Research Society on

Alcohol meeting

describing a

zebrafish model





with FASD.

She is a vital

member of our


group with the


June 5, 2023

Going away party for Alex Akerberg - he

will be greatly missed. 

May 4, 2023

Congratulations to Hui-Min Yin on her

presentation at the annual Weinstein 

Cardiovascular Development & Regeneration Conference describing the role of Pontin in cardiomyocyte proliferation. Well done!  


March 29, 2023

Congratulations to Felicia Wranitz

on receiving a

fundable score

on her NIH

F31 grant


She was previously 

awarded an HMS

LaDue that supports

2 exceptional BBS

graduate students

working in

cardiovascular research. Way to go Felicia!

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