Directed Differentiation of Stem Cells

Postdoctoral Scientist: Dr. Farah Raad

Contact details

    Dr. Farah Raad
    Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology,
    University Medical Center Goettingen,
    Robert-Koch-Str. 40, 37075 Goettingen

    Tel: +49 (0) 551 39-5777
    Fax: +49 (0) 551 39-5699
    E-mail: farah.raad[at]

Bioengineered Heart Muscle (BHM) as a Novel Cardiac Organoid

Proof-of-concept for the generation of a bioengineered heart muscle (BHM) directly from human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) as a model to simulate human heart muscle development was introduced recently by our lab. In contrast to classical tissue engineering work, BHM resemble self-organizing organoid systems which are developed by a targeted application of developmental stimuli to facilitate embryonic-to-fetal heart development. BHM may find applications in (1) the screening for therapeutic compounds that modulate cardiomyogenesis, (2) developmental toxicity assays, and (3) mechanisms controlling heart development.

Screening for Small Molecules inducing Cardiomyogenesis

Modulation of one of the pivotal signaling pathways implicated in early cardiac induction, such as the BMP pathway during BHM development revealed that transient BMP4 levels are essential for the optimal differentiation of hPSCs to both cardiomyocytes and fibroblast-like cells. By applying medicinal chemistry it is our aim to develop small molecule mimics to replace environmental growth factor signals. We apply high-content screening tools and genome editing to identify bioactive molecules with cardiomyogenic properties.

Available for research student supervision? Yes.


Ms. Bhakti Irene Seth
Masters Student

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