Cardiac Stem Cell Dysfunction in Diabetes

Recent studies have proposed that stem cell dysfunction may be responsible for complications related to Type 2 Diabetes (T2D). Our preliminary data indicate that the growth and differentiation characteristics of cardiac stem cells (CSC) are impaired in diabetes. Our research is focused on:

  • Identifying central defects in CSC biology in the diabetic heart in vivo;
  • Elucidating the cellular defects provoked by diabetes and nutrient excess in CSCs in vitro
  • Rescuing the CSCs’ functional defects in the diabetic heart in vivo.
The studies are designed to attempt to:
  • Establish correlation between CSC dysfunction and cardiac abnormalities in the diabetic heart;
  • Explore mechanisms by which diabetes and nutrient excess affect function of CSCs; and
  • Decipher whether or not CSC dysfunction significantly contributes to the pathogenesis of diabetic cardiomyopathy using an innovative transgenic mouse model.

Results of this study will lead to a better understanding of how diabetes affects CSC competence and function and how these abnormalities contribute to diabetic cardiomyopathy with the goal of finding new avenues for preventing or treating cardiac dysfunction in patients with T2D.

Principal Investigator

Kyung Hong, Ph.D.

Kyung U.K. Hong, Ph.D

Assistant Professor of Medicine
E-mail Kyung Hong

M.S. and Ph.D., University of Rochester School of Medicine

Research Focus

  • Cardiac progenitor/stem cell biology and its application to clinical settings.
  • Cardiac stem cell biology.

Related publications:
Specific primary sequence requirements for Aurora B kinase-mediated phosphorylation and subcellular localization of TMAP during mitosis

Characterization of mitosis-specific phosphorylation of tumor-associated microtubule-associated protein