1) Cardiac disease modeling and drug testing using iPSC technology. Cardiomyocytes (CM) derived from patient’s induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) faithfully summarize ‘patient on a plate’ (individual level) and ‘clinical trial on a plate’ (population level) conditions. We use this technology for the implementation of Precision Medicine approaches, particularly for disease modeling and treatment.
2) Cell therapy for cardiovascular diseases. We demonstrated that the beneficial effects exerted by mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) on ischemic hearts are mediated by their secretome and that MSCs of fetal origin (F-MSCs) are more effective than adult MSCs. Accordingly, we are developing clinical-grade protocols to scale up the production of F-MSC and their secretome. The ambitious goal is to implement therapies based on the use of secretome or microvesicles or single factors produced by F-MSCs for the treatment of ischemic heart disease, heart failure and other cardiac diseases.
3) Acute myocardial infarction registry. More than 15 years ago, we generated a registry comprising all patients admitted to our Cardiology Division with a diagnosis of acute ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI). The database is updated regularly and includes patient follow-up. Several outcome studies have been conducted and published to date, and more will be performed to document how the treatment and clinical evolution of STEMI patients will evolve over time.
4) PREDESTINATION study. This is a multicenter, prospective, case-control study, of which our Unit is the lead partner. The study aims to identify the genetic and clinical causes underlying ventricular fibrillation events at the onset of a STEMI. To date, over 1500 patients have been enrolled.