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Cardiothoracic Surgery »  Research

Research

Cardiac Labs

Cardiac Biomechanics Lab

The lab uses the application of mechanical engineering principles in conjunction with cardiac biology, implementing this combination of research to the improvement of cardiac health, to the design and analysis of the diagnosis and/or treatment of cardiac diseases. Specialties of the Lab include:

* Development of Techniques for Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery
* Cardiovascular Monitor Design and Development
* Quantitative Cardiovascular Physiology
* Finite Element Analysis
* Signal Processing and Algorithm Design

Cardiothoracic Translational Research Laboratory

The Cardiothoracic Translational Research Laboratory is focused on turning a deeper understanding of the complex biology of failing heart cells into a new generation of cellular and molecular therapies that may actually reverse the ravages of heart failure. This lethal condition affects more than 5 million Americans and is already the greatest single economic burden in American health care, yet no existing therapies can either halt or reverse the disease process. Dr. Mann's group is analyzing the molecular basis of the failing heart's response to non-embyonic stem cell transplantation, and these results will provide a framework for the first rational design of optimized strategies for human cardiac stem cell therapy.

Transplant and Stem Cell Immunobiology (TSI) Lab

The Transplant and Stem Cell Immunobiology (TSI) Laboratory uses multiple research directions to answer complex questions about stem cell therapy, heart and lung transplantation, and cardiovascular disease. The lab focuses on the immunogenicity of allogeneic stem cells, tissues, and organs, and is interested in designing methods to prevent immunological recognition and rejection of such materials.

Thoracic Labs

Thoracic Oncology Lab  

Cancer treatment is rapidly proceeding towards the era of personalized medicine where treatment is based on the distinctive molecular characteristics of a patient's tumor. This knowledge will allow patients to receive novel combinations of therapies that will maximize clinical benefit, more accurately predict disease outcome, and allow patients at the highest risk of relapse to receive the most aggressive treatment.

The Thoracic Oncology Lab is pursuing a variety of strategies to treat and cure lung cancer, mesothelioma and esophageal cancer. These include the investigation of molecular pathways such as Wnt and Hh, the role of inflammation in lung carcinogenesis, isolation of lung cancer stems cells, and the Lung Cancer Systems Genetics Project, An Approach to Individualized Lung Cancer Diagnosis and Therapy. Eventually, these efforts will have a major impact on these diseases.

Alaoui Lab

The Alaoui Lab is a core component of the UCSF Thoracic Oncology Lab. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death worldwide and early detection is critcal to its treatment. The Alaoui lab seeks to identify and characterize the molecular pathways critical to the development of lung cancer and to find methods for targeting them, most notably the role of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) in lung carcinogenesis and reactivation of embryonic signaling pathways such as Wnt signaling. It is also investigating two extracellular regulators of Wnt signaling, Sulf-1 and Sulf-2, as new therapeutic targets. The lab utilizes state-of-the-art molecular and cellular technogies for conducting research including the Affy-gene Titan high throughput expression analysis and ABI HT 7900 qPCR and have access to the  Thoracic Oncology Tissue Bank, one of the world's largest repositories of lung tumor tissue specimens.

Kratz Lab

The Kratz lab focuses on the genetic and immunological mechanisms that drive early-stage, surgically resectable thoracic malignancies. These malignancies include lung cancer, esophageal cancer, and thymic cancer. The lab uses novel high-throughput “-omics” techniques such as genomic DNA and RNA sequencing, proteomics, and metabolomics to unravel the complex nature of early-stage thoracic malignancies. At the same time, the lab actively investigates the complex immunological landscapes that nurture the growth of these malignancies. The knowledge gained from these investigations is being used to identify novel therapeutic targets and therapies for patients with early-stage, yet deadly thoracic malignancies.

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