Heart in a dish

The Heart of What we Do

  1. To use patient stem cells to advance our scientific understanding of dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM).
  2. To combine clinical and scientific expertise from multiple disciplines to address the needs of patients with a focus on equity, diversity and inclusion.
  3. To innovate treatments for patients with dilated cardiomyopathy and heart failure.
  4. To train the next generation of physicians and scientists in cardiovascular translational medicine.
Title
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The Heart of What we Do

  1. Use induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) to study the molecular pathways that cause heart failure in individual patients.
  2. Apply expertise in cardiovascular biology, assays of cell function, and innovative drug screening.
  3. Integrate clinical information with laboratory data using personalized models of heart function (Heart-in-a-Dish) to obtain patient-specific insight into heart disease.

Highlight

We have now enrolled over 245 participants in the Heart in a Dish program!

Read our Newsletter Here!

Research Methods

The Heart-in-a-Dish project starts at the bedside with patients diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy. Clinical  staff identify and recruit eligible patients.  Their blood samples are collected for our research program.

The Heart-in-a-Dish project starts at the bedside with patients diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy. Clinical  staff identify and recruit eligible patients.  Their blood samples are collected for our research program.

The Heart-in-a-Dish project starts at the bedside with patients diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy. Clinical  staff identify and recruit eligible patients.  Their blood samples are collected for our research program.

The Heart-in-a-Dish project starts at the bedside with patients diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy. Clinical  staff identify and recruit eligible patients.  Their blood samples are collected for our research program.

The Heart-in-a-Dish project starts at the bedside with patients diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy. Clinical  staff identify and recruit eligible patients.  Their blood samples are collected for our research program.

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CLINICAL TEAM

Dr. Nadia Giannetti trained at McGill and Stanford University. She is an attending Cardiologist and an Associate Professor at McGill. She is the Medical Director of the Heart Failure and Transplant Program at the MUHC. She is a co-author of several Canadian Heart Failure and Heart Transplant Guidelines. She has led multiple clinical trials as a local PI. She is the former Chief of Cardiology and is presently the Associate Physician-in-Chief (Department of Medicine) at the MUHC.

Dr. Nadia Giannetti
Program Director, Department of Medicine

Natalie Gendron is the lead research nurse for the Courtois Cardiovascular Signature clinical team and Project Manager for Heart-in-a-Dish protocol. She has been involved in multiple cardiovascular clinical trials with pharmaceuticals as well as local investigators. She is involved in patient recruitment, data capture and the liaison with Dr. Cecere and Dr. Hebert’s research teams.

Natalie Gendron
Lead Clinical Nurse

Abigail Sousa is a Clinical research coordinator, recruits patients with passion and charisma. She ensures all research participants have a good understanding of the protocol, have their questions answered and feel valued by participating in this project.

Abigail Sousa
Clinical Research Coordinator
LinkedIn

Leila Haririsanati is a clinical research coordinator and MD from Iran. She is passionate about patient care. She approaches people with kindness, recruits patients and collects samples for the protocol.

Dr. Leila Haririsanati
Clinical Research Coordinator – CMR Core Lab Reader
LinkedIn

HÉBERT LAB

Natalie Gendron is the lead research nurse for the Courtois Cardiovascular Signature clinical team and Project Manager for Heart-in-a-Dish protocol. She has been involved in multiple cardiovascular clinical trials with pharmaceuticals as well as local investigators. She is involved in patient recruitment, data review and the liaison with Dr. Cecere and Dr. Hebert’s research teams.

Natalie Gendron RN
Clinical Project Manager – Lead Nurse
LinkedIn

Dr. Hébert has a long track record in understanding the biology of key signalling proteins in cardiovascular disease. His lab’s new focus on induced pluripotent stem cells iPSCs for DCM disease modelling has opened productive new vistas for their work to understand disease progression in individual patients.

Dr. Terry Hébert
Co-Investigator
LinkedIn

Kyla’s research focuses on exploring cellular signalling in health and disease using iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes derived from healthy volunteers and patients diagnosed with idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy.

Dr. Kyla Bourque
PhD Stem Cell Platform Coordinator
LinkedIn

Dr. Sonya Hui is a Cardiology resident physician at McGill University. She completed her MSc and PhD at the University of Toronto and postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute in cardiovascular scientific research. Her academic interests include translational cardiovascular research and personalized medicine.

Dr. Sonya Hui
Junior Clinician Investigator

Dr. Cecere is a cardiac surgeon at the McGill University Health Centre and his research program focuses on the prevention of cardiac disease and cardiac repair. His laboratory’s work involves studying cell-free therapies, elucidating personalized treatments for patients with heart disease, as well as gaining a better understanding of the underlying causes of patient-specific responses to injury.

Dr. Renzo Cecere MD
Co-Investigator

Ida’s  work investigates patient-specific differences after injury and drug-mediated recovery in iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes from healthy donors and cardiomyopathic patients.

Ida Derish
PhD Student
LinkedIn

Elise is a detail-oriented and dedicated member of Dr. Cecere’s laboratory, who is responsible for the reprogramming of patient-derived stem cells and heart cells.

Elise Rody
Research Technician
LinkedIn

Dr. Nadia Giannetti trained at McGill and Stanford University. She is an attending Cardiologist and an Associate Professor at McGill. She is the Medical Director of the Heart Failure and Transplant Program at the MUHC. She is a co-author of several Canadian Heart Failure and Heart Transplant Guidelines. She has led multiple clinical trials as a local PI. She is the former Chief of Cardiology and is presently the Associate Physician-in-Chief (Department of Medicine) at the MUHC.

Dr Nadia Giannetti MD
Co – investigator

Giada  is a master’s student focused on understanding morphological and signalling differences between dilated cardiomyopathy patients and controls by using iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes and cardiac organoids.

Giada Castagnola
Master’s Student

Leila Haririsanati is a clinical research coordinator and MD from Iran. She is passionate about patient care. She approaches people with kindness, recruits patients and collects samples for the protocol.

Dr. Leila Haririsanati
Clinical Research Coordinator – CMR Core Lab Reader
LinkedIn

Abigail Sousa is a Clinical research coordinator, recruits patients with passion and charisma. She ensures all research participants have a good understanding of the protocol, have their questions answered and feel valued by participating in this project.

Abigail Sousa
Clinical Research Coordinator
LinkedIn

CECERE LAB

Natalie Gendron is the lead research nurse for the Courtois Cardiovascular Signature clinical team and Project Manager for Heart-in-a-Dish protocol. She has been involved in multiple cardiovascular clinical trials with pharmaceuticals as well as local investigators. She is involved in patient recruitment, data review and the liaison with Dr. Cecere and Dr. Hebert’s research teams.

Natalie Gendron RN
Clinical Project Manager – Lead Nurse
LinkedIn

Dr. Hébert has a long track record in understanding the biology of key signalling proteins in cardiovascular disease. His lab’s new focus on induced pluripotent stem cells iPSCs for DCM disease modelling has opened productive new vistas for their work to understand disease progression in individual patients.

Dr. Terry Hébert
Co-Investigator
LinkedIn

Kyla’s research focuses on exploring cellular signalling in health and disease using iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes derived from healthy volunteers and patients diagnosed with idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy.

Dr. Kyla Bourque
PhD Stem Cell Platform Coordinator
LinkedIn

Dr. Sonya Hui is a Cardiology resident physician at McGill University. She completed her MSc and PhD at the University of Toronto and postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute in cardiovascular scientific research. Her academic interests include translational cardiovascular research and personalized medicine.

Dr. Sonya Hui
Junior Clinician Investigator

Dr. Cecere is a cardiac surgeon at the McGill University Health Centre and his research program focuses on the prevention of cardiac disease and cardiac repair. His laboratory’s work involves studying cell-free therapies, elucidating personalized treatments for patients with heart disease, as well as gaining a better understanding of the underlying causes of patient-specific responses to injury.

Dr. Renzo Cecere MD
Co-Investigator

Ida’s  work investigates patient-specific differences after injury and drug-mediated recovery in iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes from healthy donors and cardiomyopathic patients.

Ida Derish
PhD Student
LinkedIn

Elise is a detail-oriented and dedicated member of Dr. Cecere’s laboratory, who is responsible for the reprogramming of patient-derived stem cells and heart cells.

Elise Rody
Research Technician
LinkedIn

Dr. Nadia Giannetti trained at McGill and Stanford University. She is an attending Cardiologist and an Associate Professor at McGill. She is the Medical Director of the Heart Failure and Transplant Program at the MUHC. She is a co-author of several Canadian Heart Failure and Heart Transplant Guidelines. She has led multiple clinical trials as a local PI. She is the former Chief of Cardiology and is presently the Associate Physician-in-Chief (Department of Medicine) at the MUHC.

Dr Nadia Giannetti MD
Co – investigator

Giada  is a master’s student focused on understanding morphological and signalling differences between dilated cardiomyopathy patients and controls by using iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes and cardiac organoids.

Giada Castagnola
Master’s Student

Leila Haririsanati is a clinical research coordinator and MD from Iran. She is passionate about patient care. She approaches people with kindness, recruits patients and collects samples for the protocol.

Dr. Leila Haririsanati
Clinical Research Coordinator – CMR Core Lab Reader
LinkedIn

Abigail Sousa is a Clinical research coordinator, recruits patients with passion and charisma. She ensures all research participants have a good understanding of the protocol, have their questions answered and feel valued by participating in this project.

Abigail Sousa
Clinical Research Coordinator
LinkedIn

CONTRIBUTORS

Ludovic Mouttet – MSc Student

Michelle van Holten – Medical MSc Student

Jill Caplan – Undergraduate Research Trainee

Stacey Kastafanas – Undergraduate Research Trainee

Hanwen Wang – Undergraduate Research Trainee

Hooman Sadighian – Research Assistant

Vanissa Savarimuthu – Medical Student

Rose Noël – Medical Student

Alexandre Sheasby – Medical Student

Gabriel Trottenberg – Medical Student

Johanie Victoria Piché – Medical Student

Join Our Research Team

Dr. Nadia Giannetti ​​

Courtois Cardiovascular Signature Program Lead ​​— Associate Professor, McGill University ​​— Medical Director Heart Failure and Transplant Clinic ​​

Glen Campus – The Royal Victoria Hospital ​​
1001Decarie Blvd, Block C, RC.2017 ​​
Montreal, Quebec ​​
H4A 3J1 ​​
​​
Contact-us

Dr. Renzo Cecere

Associate Professor of Surgery, McGill University — Director, Division of Cardiac Surgery — Surgical Director, Heart Failure & Thoracic Transplant Program — Director, Mechanical Cardiac Assistant Program

Glen Campus – The Royal Victoria Hospital
1001 Decarie Blvd, Block C, C07.1284
Montreal, Quebec
H4A 3J1

Contact-us

Dr. Terry Hébert

Professor and Graduate Program Directo — Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics— Assistant Dean, Biomedical Science Education — Director, McGill Regenerative Medicine Network — Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, McGill University — Canadian Pacific Chair in Biotechnology

Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics
McGill University
Room 1303 McIntyre Medical Sciences Building
3655 Promenade Sir William Osler
Montréal, Québec
H3G 1Y6

Contact-us

Resources for researchers

PUBLICATIONS | PRESENTATIONS

Hawey C., Bourque K., Derish I., Zwaig J., Khan K., Cecere R., Hébert T.E. Characterizing idiopathic forms of dilated cardiomyopathy using patient-derived iPSC-CMs. Till & McCulloch Meeting, 2021.

Jiang A., Bourque K., Hawey C., Mazarura G., Sadighian h., Hébert T.E. Maturation and phenotyping of idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy patient-derived iPSC-cardiomyocytes. Till & McCulloch Meetings, 2021.

Derish I, Cecere R. Generation of Patient-Specific Stem Cell-Derived Cardiomyocytes for Disease Modelling and Pharmacological Testing: The Heart in a Dish Study. Stikeman Visiting Professorship for Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery – McGill University. 2021. [Invited for Oral Presentation].

Hawey C. & Tibbits G. Using patient-derived iPSCs to characterize underlying features of dilated cardiomyopathy. MRM Talks [Invited Oral Presentation].

A special thanks to the Courtois Foundation & Mrs. Sharon Steinberg for fueling our research initiatives.

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