Transdifferentiation and tissue plasticity in cardiovascular rejuvenation

Organisers: Brian Black and James Martin

Date: 7th – 10th February 2016

Location: Wiston House, Steyning, West Sussex, UK

The mammalian heart has historically been considered to be a static, non-regenerative organ. New research has led to exciting insights into the capacity of the mammalian heart to regenerate in the face of injury. The current evidence in 2016 suggested that the reparative process may involve cellular transdifferentiation and dedifferentiation, suggesting unexpected cellular plasticity.  Re-activation of developmental programs also holds promise for regeneration and reprogramming as possible mechanisms for regeneration and repair.  Additionally, exciting advances in bioengineering have established that scaffolds, patches, and other bioengineered materials can be leveraged to induce or improve endogenous repair mechanisms and improve outcomes in damaged myocardium.

Specific goals of the conference included discussions of:

1) mechanisms of cellular transdifferentiation and dedifferentiation
2) genetic mechanisms underlying tissue plasticity
3) epigenetic modifications that promote plasticity/regeneration)
4) lessons from developmental biology for developing strategies to promote regeneration and transdifferentiation, and
5) incorporation of biomaterials to accelerate and improve cardiac repair and tissue engineering.

The workshop brought together experts in heart development, regeneration and bioengineering, and aimed to provide insight into heart regeneration, develop new directions for investigation and forge new collaborations and interactions across multiple disciplines.


Transdif 1Transdif 2











Apex resection was performed on control (A) and Hippo mutant (B) hearts at non-regenerative stages. Hearts were collected four days after resection and immunohistochemistry against GFP (marks heart muscle) was performed. Arrows show cytoskeletal changes in regenerating heart muscle. Image courtesy of Yuka Morikawa.


Download programme for this Workshop


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Transdifferentiation and Tissue Plasticity in Cardiovascular Rejuvenation

 7th – 10th February 2016

Wiston House, Steyning, West Sussex, UK

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