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Han Lab

The research interests of the Han lab reside at the interface of Cell Biology, Genomics, and Cardiology. We employ several experimental systems, including engineered mouse models and human-induced pluripotent stem cells, to understanding the regulation and consequences of cardiomyocyte terminal differentiation, both during heart development and in response to different forms of pathological insults. In addition, we utilize a variety of molecular and computational techniques to dissect the diversity of cellular behavior via single-cell functional genomics.

Heart disease is the leading cause of mortality and morbidity worldwide. One of the fundamental problems is that unlike other organs, once injured the adult human heart cannot heal itself due to the minimal proliferative capacity within heart muscle cells (cardiomyocytes). Despite significant efforts invested in developing new strategies, a clinically effective approach for the treatment of an injured adult human heart does not exist. This highlights the need to understand fundamental mechanisms regulating heart repair and how to control them.

Our research will help to answer three major questions related to human heart repair:

  1. Does a subpopulation of human cardiomyocytes possess a proliferative potential? If so, is it caused by ploidy composition and how can it be controlled?
  2. What role does polyploid cardiomyocytes play in cardiac growth and repair?
  3. How to induce human iPSC maturation in-vitro with further comprehension of the mechanisms directing cardiomyocyte terminal differentiation?

Ultimately, we will provide a cell biology view to better understand human heart disease and develop regenerative strategies.

Our Team

Lu HanLu Han, PhD
Principal Investigator, Assistant Professor
Department of Pediatrics, Medical College of Wisconsin
Herma Heart Institute, Division of Pediatric Cardiology, Children’s Wisconsin
Cell Biology, Neurobiology and Anatomy (CBNA), Cardiovascular Center, Medical College of Wisconsin

PhD in Molecular and Cell Biology, Chinese Academy of Science, Beijing, China
Post Doctoral Fellowship, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA

Browse my Children's Wisconsin Profile.

  • Cardiology
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Cell biology in heart development and disease

AnkurAnkur Saini
Research Associate 

Ankur is interested in understanding how polyploidy affects heart regeneration and also the gene expression differences at spatial-temporal levels in a regenerating heart.