Directed Maturation of Engineered Heart Muscle

Postdoctoral Scientist: Dr. Norman Liaw


Contact details

    Dr. Norman Liaw
    Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology,
    University Medical Center Goettingen,
    Robert-Koch-Str. 40, 37075 Goettingen
    Germany

    Tel: +49 (0) 551 39-5775
    Fax: +49 (0) 551 39-5699
    E-mail: norman.liaw[at]med.uni-goettingen.de

Brief Biography
G'day visitors! I completed my PhD in 2013 under the supervision of A/Prof. Salvatore Pepe at the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute in Melbourne, Australia. In 2014, I commenced my postdoctoral training under the guidance of Prof. Dr. Wolfram-Hubertus Zimmermann. My move to Germany was a result of my interest in a unique model developed by Prof. Dr. Zimmermann termed engineered human myocardium (EHM) where the individual cellular composition of the human heart could be re-assembled into a fully defined, self-beating construct. My research utilises EHM to address the following topics:


Modelling IR injury in EHM using congenital heart disease stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes

Children born with congenital heart defects often require corrective surgery requiring the heart to be placed on temporary "bypass" using a heart-lung machine. The transition to and from this machine is comparable to a small heart attack (or ischaemia-reperfusion injury, IR) since blood flow to the heart is briefly ceased and subsequently resumed. Whilst crucial to the success of such surgeries, this act places significant stress on the already fragile neonatal heart. Therefore, utilising patient-derived stem cells within the EHM model, I am interested in modelling the effect of IR on these EHM with a view to understand the functional and molecular mechanisms behind the additional stress and potentially improving post-operative outcomes.

Unravelling the complexities of the electrical conduction system in the developing myocardium

Another facet of my research focuses on modelling and understanding the mechanisms involved in the developing human cardiac electrical conduction system. Since the fundamental principle of the heart is that it beats, how this is achieved in the early stages of embryonic development is somewhat not well understood. EHM utilsing stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes provides us with an opportunity to model these early stages and the application of electrical signals can be performed in vitro.


Available for research student supervision? Yes.


Staff


Mr. Branimir Berečić
PhD Student

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Tel: +49 (0) 551 39-5777


Mr. Paul Kunath
Masters Student

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Mr. Yan Luo
MD Student

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Mr. Moritz Matthaei
MD Student

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Mr. Sebastian Nagel
PhD Student

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Tel: +49 (0) 551 39-5777


Ms. Hannah Tschammer
MD Student

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