We are interested in deciphering the origins of the heart in the early embryo, and how cell identity and patterning is achieved to form a functional heart. We employ mouse lineage tracing strategies to define the in vivo specification and allocation of early cardiac precursors, and we use gene ablation and gain of function approaches to investigate the mechanisms involved in setting up and maintaining these processes. We also use genome engineering in mouse ES and human iPS cells to apply to in vitro systems the rules that we learn in vivo. Defining the mechanisms of cardiac lineage specification is critical to define regenerative strategies, and to understand the earliest events that result in congenital heart defects. Current projects are centered on understanding the mechanisms of cardiac lineage allocation and patterning, and how these relate to congenital heart defects, especially ventricular septal defects.

Representative papers:

  • Devine W.P.*, Wythe J.D., George M., Koshiba-Takeuchi K., & Bruneau B.G.* (2014) Early patterning and specification of cardiac progenitors in gastrulating mesoderm. eLife published online 10/08/14; DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.03848 (* Corresponding authors)
  • Takeuchi J.K., & Bruneau B.G. (2009) Directed transdifferentiation of mouse mesoderm to heart tissue by defined factors. Nature 459:708-711 (PMC2728356).