ACEA Biosciences would like to congratulate Dr. Farah Sheikh, an associate professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of California San Diego, for winning the ACEA Research Travel Award for Winter 2016.
Dr. Sheikh is awarded for her research using patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) to model the disease arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC). ARVC results from defects of the desmosomal cell-cell junction and gives rise to a broad spectrum of symptomatic severities. Sheikh’s work aimed to determine whether iPSCs from ARVC patients could recapitulate phenotypes associated with early stages of the disease.
Using ACEA Bioscience’s xCELLigence RTCA Cardio instrument, which monitors cardiomyocyte contraction strength and periodicity in real-time and without the use of labels, Sheikh was able to show strong correlation between the behavior of patient’s hearts and their derivative cardiomyocyte cell lines. This “disease in a dish” model system now opens the door for Sheikh and colleagues to further explore the molecular mechanisms underlying ARVC, and to probe for therapeutic interventions. Dr. Sheikh will be presenting her work at the Keystone Symposium, focused on Cardiac Development, Regeneration and Repair, taking place April 3-7 in Snowbird, Utah.