Welcome to the Hiesinger Lab

Cardiothoracic Surgery Research

The Hiesinger Lab, is home to a collaborative research environment comprised of teams of clinicians, engineers, and scientists that work to create translatable solutions to clinically relevant cardiovascular problems. Led by William Hiesinger the lab uses protein therapeutics, heart computer modeling and simulations, molecular biology, 3-D printed blood vessels, and cardiovascular biodevices to tackle a variety of challenges including examining the cellular and molecular mechanisms that transform stable coronary-artery disease to unstable coronary syndromes and clinical inventions to aid or cure patients. Currently, the laboratory is working towards FDA approved patents and clinical trials for protein therapeutic drugs and cardiovascular biodevices.


Myocardial ischemia, infarction, and heart failure constitute a disease spectrum that is rapidly becoming one of the foremost global health challenges. Current therapies focus upon pharmacologic optimization and macrorevascularization via coronary stenting and coronary artery bypass grafting. However better solutions need to be found, the Hiesinger lab is working on specific protein therapeutics to increase angiogenisis in the ischemic heart tissue in order to help the heart to heal itself and improve patient outcomes.

Myocardial Regeneration

We are developing myocardial regeneration strategies to repair the heart following an ischemic insult by stimulating resident cardiomyocytes to re-enter the cell cycle. Specifically, we are working towards many signaling pathways to stop scar tissue from forming after an infarct and promoting tissue regrowth.  After an ischemic heart attack the tissues excrete signaling molecules that activate a pathway that promotes scar tissue formation.  However, we can bioengineer the body to respond in a healing way, much in the same way a heart is initially formed in an infant.  In this way, the heart can regenerate without any loss of function and could greatly improve patient outcomes and mortality rates.

Computer Simulated Heart Flow and Function

The heart is normally treated after a patient experiences clinical symptoms of fatigue, weakness, or even a heart attack.  However this paradigm does not serve our patients well.  It would be much better if we could have a predictive method to tell patients months or years in advance of any possible heart problem in order to take corrective actions.  The goal of this study is to setup a clinical model of the heart with a 3-D computer simulation using CT scans and MRI data to be able to predict if a patient will develop clinical heart symptoms much in advance of any needed treatment or invention.  In this way, patients can receive the best preventive care and could potentially avoid any deleterious heart function or heart disease.