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Professor Sian E Harding
Cardiac Pharmacology at the National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College

Professor Sian E Harding

Stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes have an exciting potential for the cardiac researcher, who has had only limited in vitro models up to now. Here we have a cell with the full range of contractile and electrical cardiomyocyte phenotypes, a human (and potentially patient-specific) genotype, long stability in culture and improved susceptibility to genetic manipulation. Their possible usefulness has been quickly realised by the pharmaceutical industry, who also appreciate their compatibility with high throughput assays, and they are now being incorporated into toxicological and drug discovery screens. Stem cell derived cardiomyocytes open the way to functional cardiac cell-based assays with the power to match the data output from “omics” studies.”