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Robert McEwen Chair in Cardiac Regenerative MedicineCanada Research Chair, Cardiovascular Regenerative MedicineSenior Scientist, McEwen Stem Cell InstituteStaff Pathologist, UHN Laboratory Medicine ProgramProfessor, Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology, University of Toronto
Dr. Michael Laflamme is a Senior Scientist at the McEwen Stem Cell Institute (formerly the McEwen Centre for Regenerative Medicine) at the University Health Network (UHN), where he also holds the Robert McEwen Chair in Cardiac Regenerative Medicine and the Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Cardiovascular Regenerative Medicine. His research program is aimed at developing novel cell therapies to regenerate injured hearts.
After obtaining an undergraduate degree in Physics at Georgetown University in 1991, Dr. Laflamme completed the Medical Scientist (MD/PhD) Training Program at Emory University in 1999. His PhD studies were focused on the regulation of calcium homeostasis by beta-adrenergic signalling in adult ventricular cardiomyocytes. After residency in Anatomic Pathology and subspecialty training in cardiovascular pathology at the University of Washington Medical Center, he completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the laboratory of Dr. Charles Murry investigating the role of exogenous and endogenous stem cells in myocardial repair. After his postdoctoral studies, he joined the faculty at the University of Washington, where he remained prior to relocating to UHN in 2015.
His independent research career has been largely focused on the development of cell therapies based on human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs), and his laboratory has made a number of important contributions in this area including: 1) widely-used protocols to guide the differentiation of hPSCs into cardiomyocytes and specialized cardiac subtypes, 2) the first proof-of-concept study showing that the transplantation of hPSC-derived cardiomyocytes (hPSC-CMs) can "remuscularize" scar tissue and improve left ventricular contractile function in rodent models of myocardial infarction (MI), and 3) the first direct demonstration that hPSC-CM grafts can electrically couple with host myocardium following transplantation in injured hearts. Among other active projects, his team has ongoing efforts to promote the scaled manufacturing of mature hPSC-CMs, improve the electrical function of hPSC-CMs post-transplantation, and test their efficacy in small- and large-animal models of post-MI heart failure.
Dr. Laflamme has been the recipient of several honours, including the Society for Cardiovascular Pathology Young Investigator Award, the American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy Outstanding New Investigator Award, and the UHN Inventor of the Year. In addition to his position at the McEwen Stem Cell Institute, Dr. Laflamme is a Professor in the Department of Laboratory Medicine & Pathobiology at the University of Toronto and a Staff Pathologist in the UHN Laboratory Medicine Program, practicing diagnostic cardiovascular and autopsy pathology. He is also a scientific co-founding investigator of BlueRock Therapeutics.
A complete list of Dr. Laflamme's publications can be found on
In Vitro Matured Human Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Cardiomyocytes Form Grafts With Enhanced Structure and Function in Injured Hearts.Circulation. 2022 May 3; 145(18):1412-1426. Dhahri W, Sadikov Valdman T, Wilkinson D, Pereira E, Ceylan E, Andharia N, Qiang B, Masoudpour H, Wulkan F, Quesnel E, Jiang W, Funakoshi S, Mazine A, Gomez-Garcia JM, Latifi N, Jiang Y, Huszti E, Simmons CA, Keller G, Laflamme MA
Methods for Transepicardial Cell Transplantation in a Swine Myocardial Infarction ModelMethods in Molecular Biology. 2022; 2485:191-212.Wulkan F, Romagnuolo R, Qiang B, Laflamme MA
Optical mapping of human embryonic stem cell-derived cardiomyocyte graft electrical activity in injured heartsStem Cell Research & Therapy. 2020 Sep 25;11(1):417.Filice D, Dhahri W, Solan JL, Lampe PD, Steele E, Milani N, Van Biber B, Zhu W, Sadikov Valdman T, Romagnolo R, Otero-Cruz JD, Hauch KD, Kay MW, Sarvazyan N, Laflamme MA.
Human Embryonic Stem Cell-Derived Cardiomyocytes Regenerate the Infarcted Pig Heart but Induce Ventricular TachyarrhythmiasStem Cell Reports. 2019 May 14; 12(5): 967-981.Romanguolo R, Masoudpour H, Porta-Sánchez A, Qiang B, Barry J, Laskary A, Qi X, Massé S, Magtibay K, Kawajiri H, Wu J, Valdman Sadikov T, Rothberg J, Panchalingam KM, Titus E, Li RK, Zandstra PW, Wright GA, Nanthakumar K, Ghugre NR, Keller G, Laflamme MA
Principal Investigator: Dr. Michael Laflamme
Administrative Assistant: Jonelle Martineau