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Douglas  Cowan, PhD

Douglas Cowan
Cowan Laboratory
Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine Research
Cardiac Anesthesia Research
Hospital Title:
Research Associate
Academic Title:
Associate Professor, Harvard Medical School
Research Focus Area:
Heart DiseaseStem Cell BiologyTissue EngineeringMolecular Imaging
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Research Overview

Our laboratory studies the cardiovascular system with a specific focus on combining tissue engineering and stem cell biology to improve heart function in various patient populations. Current projects in our laboratory include the following:

  • Cardiac Conduction through Engineered Tissue – We are engineering tissues to act as electrical conduits for use in pediatric patients with complete heart block. Ultimately, we hope to provide a realistic alternative or accessory treatment to conventional cardiac pacemaker implantation in children.
  • Adult Stem Cell Culture – We are developing methods to expand and control the fate of tissue-specific stem cells to determine their regenerative potential for the treatment of cardiac and skeletal muscle disorders. Our studies are designed to advance cell-based therapies for a variety of human diseases.
  • Non-invasive Tracking of Transplanted Cells – We are assessing non-invasive imaging methods to serially track the retention, distribution, and function of transplanted cells in the heart. We believe these methods will have immediate relevance for assessing the efficacy of cardiac cell-based therapies.
  • Mitochondrial Transplantation – This collaborative project is focused on providing a clinically-relevant treatment for myocardial infarction in adults. We and our colleagues are injecting autologous mitochondria into the heart to decrease the extent of damage and enhance functional recovery.

About Douglas B. Cowan

Douglas Cowan received his PhD from the University of Toronto in 1994. He was a Fellow of the Medical Research Council of Canada at the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute at Mount Sinai Hospital before moving to Children's Hospital Boston in 1998. Dr Cowan is the recipient of several awards and honors including the Stuart Alan Hoffman Award for Research Excellence and one of the 2012 AND 2013 FASEB BioArt Awards.

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