Kaushal Lab - Cell-based regenerative therapies

Heart failure is a common, lethal, disabling, and expensive condition. Despite advances over the last 30 years, the prognosis of patients hospitalized with heart failure remains poor. Current therapies have limited efficacy and definitive therapy in the form of heart transplantation is available to only a tiny minority of eligible patients. A major public health problem worldwide, heart failure is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality, and an increasing burden on healthcare systems around the globe.

Researchers at the Stanley Manne Research Children’s Research Institute’s Kaushal Laboratory are leading studies in the use of cardiac mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) to address cardiac stem cell therapies for heart failure. Their basic science research includes, among others, studies of: intravenous administration of neonatal mesenchymal stem cells (nMSCs) and its effect on functional recovery in a renal ischemia-reperfusion injury rodent model; nMSCs and cardiac functional recovery in a porcine model of acute myocardial infarction; and GDF-15’s function in preserving MSC-mediated right ventricular function in a porcine pressure-overload model.

These bench research studies, among others, form the basis for potential clinical trials using cardiac stem cells to address heart failure secondary to dilated cardiomyopathy, heart failure due to cardiomyopathy secondary to single ventricle anatomy or following myocardial infarction, and using cardiac mesenchymal stem cells to ameliorate the deleterious effects of cardiopulmonary bypass by decreasing post-bypass inflammatory response and improving left ventricular function

Current Research Projects

  • Remodeling of the immune response in ischemic organs (e.g., heart, kidneys) of rodent and large animal models – focus on mechanism of action
  • Decreasing inflammation that triggers disease, including Alzheimer's and chronic kidney disease – focus on neurological outcomes
  • Dilated cardiomyopathy in a large animal titin model – focus on stem cell effect
  • Remodeling of hearts with dilated cardiomyopathy and hypoplastic left heart syndrome using induced pluripotent stem cells (ISPCs) – focus on amelioration of the disease process in these conditions


See a listing of our Stem Cell Program publications and presentations (2017-2021)

Laboratory Members

Agata Bilewska, MD, PhD
Research Scientist

Riley Boyd
Research Fellow

Ling Chen, MD, PhD
Research Associate Professor

Xuebin Fu, PhD
Research Assistant Professor

Zhi-Dong (Wilson) Ge, MD, PhD
Research Associate Professor

Muthukumar Gunasekaran, PhD
Research Assistant Professor

Sameer Guru, PhD
Postdoctoral Associate

Progyaparamita Saha, PhD
Research Assistant Professor

Artur Stefanowicz, MD, PhD
Research Fellow

Sarah Zaida
Research Technologist II

Shaneh Zarinebaf
Research Technologist II

Contact Information

Principal Investigator: Sunjay Kaushal, MD, PhD
Email: SKaushal@luriechildrens.org