Amanda Jo LeBlanc, Ph.D.

Amanda Jo LeBlanc, Ph.D.

Amanda Jo LeBlanc, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics
Cardiovascular Innovation Institute
LeBlanc Laboratory

As an Assistant Professor at the Cardiovascular Innovation Institute, my laboratory is focused on treating coronary impairments through the use of regenerative medicine, thus allowing us to combat the deleterious effects of myocardial infarction, aging, and gender-related issues in cardiovascular physiology. The ongoing studies are evaluating tissue-engineering therapies to regenerate a functional microcirculation in aged cardiac tissue, with a long-term goal of providing a therapy specifically for patients of advanced age. I want to determine what the ideal patient age is for regenerative cell isolation. Upon completion of these studies, I believe a novel therapeutic modality will be established not only for aging-induced decreases in coronary blood flow reserve, but also for other peripheral vascular disorders affecting the aged population.

The other half of my research interests is related to gender-related differences in tissue-engineered approaches to treating ischemic heart disease. Epidemiological data indicate that sexual dimorphism exists in the chronological development of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. The risk for CVD begins to increase at approximately the same age that microvascular function has been shown to decline in men. Women also exhibit this correlation; however, it occurs more than a decade later as women experience cardioprotection until menopause, presumably due to estrogen. Furthermore, sex differences in the way myocardial infarctions present in patients warrant sex-specific cardiac therapies. My previous research has identified the impaired signaling mechanisms involved in coronary blood flow in males vs. females. I want to further elucidate these gender differences in animals and humans in response to ischemia after treatment with adipose-derived regenerative cells. I will target endothelium-dependent signaling mechanisms that are altered in women with ischemic heart disease and will also directly assess cell-selected adipose-derived cells as a cardioprotective means for ischemic injury. My current research spans from basic research to pre-clinical studies.