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Cardiovascular Genomics and Epigenomics

The main interest of my group is the study of the mechanisms regulating progenitor cell maintenance, cell commitment, lineage specification, differentiation and transdifferentiation in normal development and pathological alterations of the heart and the lung. These are issues of major clinical relevance, given the fact that congenital cardiac abnormalities are the most common genetic defects in humans and that cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death worldwide.

An improved understanding of the molecular mechanisms regulating cardiogenesis and cardiac progenitor cell function is a prerequisite for the successful design of therapeutic strategies for genetic heart diseases and regenerative approaches for heart failure. Additional work in my group has focused on epigenetic mechanisms involved in lung aging and lung cancer, the leading cause of cancer-related death worldwide. Methodologically our principal strengths lie in the fields of genetics, cell biology, developmental biology, gene regulation, epigenetic regulation, chromatin organization, genome stability and cancer.