Our lab focuses on investigating the cellular and organ level regenerative mechanisms that can contribute to new therapeutic approaches to repair and regenerate the heart following myocardial infarction using modified mRNA. Modified mRNA is an attractive and novel in vivo gene delivery method that allows high gene expression in variety of organs, including the heart. Expression is seen within 10 minutes following delivery and can last from several days and up to 10 days. The strength of Modified mRNA as a gene delivery therapy is in its safety, transiently, and high expressivity. It does not require nuclear localization or transcription and its integration into the genome is negligible. Most important, the modifications made to the mRNA allows it to avoid the innate immune system, specifically Toll-like receptors 7/8 activation, and reduce mRNA cleavage due to its lessen RNase recognition. The Zangi lab's goal is to unravel regenerative genes that can enhance cardiac regeneration after injury. Our lab will investigate specific genes or signaling networks on both cellular (cell specific) and tissue (whole cardiac muscle) levels, using modified mRNA and other gene delivery approaches in order to change the non-regenerative gene expression profile of adult cardiac muscle to an improve regenerative organ after injury.
Investigate the role-plays cardiomyocytes metabolism in cardiac regeneration. Test transit manipulation of cardiomytocytes metabolism using combinatorial modified RNAs approach. Use in vitro and in vivo systems to evaluate if this manipulation can leads to CMs proliferation, angiogenesis, prevent ROS activity, inflammation or reduce apoptosis post myocardial infarction. Responsible for conducting in vitro screening experiments, analyzing high throughput data, plan and analysis in vivo experiments in small and large animals, summarizing research findings, and submitting manuscripts describing his work to peer reviewed journals.