FCT/DAAD Transnational cooperation

From Petri Dish to the living heart: A systems biology approach to identify and validate key genes and processes driving cardiogenesis


Regenerative medicine promises to replace damaged tissues/organs. An attractive approach is the propagation and differentiation of pluripotent cells towards desired cell types. Of great biomedical interest is generation of functional cardiac muscle cells or their progenitor cells. However, cardiomyogenesis involves complex temporally ordered genetic events, which are still not fully understood, hindering such approach. We expect to clarify the cardiomyogenesis process applying systems biology approaches with experimental tools.

In collaboration with the group led by Agapios Sachinidis at the Institute of Neurophysiology of the University of Cologne (Germany), we will analyze and compare existing complementary transcriptome datasets, in vitro and in vivo data, integrating them within molecular interaction networks, identify novel genetic regulators and validate them experimentally using techniques such as knockdown and overexpression, leading to the development of an in silico model for cardiogenesis. The funding serves for the training and research visits especially of young scientists involved this project.

8 - 17 August 2016: First visit of the SysBioLab by Agapios Sachinidis
Agapios visited the SysBioLab to discuss the results of the bioinformatic analysis carried out by Rui, to draft a first manuscript, and to enjoy- of course - the hospitality of the sunny Algarve. We had a productive and joyful time and are looking forward to visit your lab in Cologne, Agapios!
Work Farewell

CCMAR/UAlg Participants

Matthias E. Futschik, CCMAR/CBMR, UAlg

Jose Branganša, CBMR/DCBM, UAlg

Daniel Oliveira, CBMR, UAlg

Susana Machado, CBMR, UAlg

Rui Machado, CBMR, UAlg

Jose Pinto, CBMR, UAlg


Davood Sabour, Rui S.R. Machado, José P. Pinto, Susan Rohani, Raja G.A. Sahito, Jürgen Hescheler, Matthias E. Futschik and Agapios Sachinidis (2018) Parallel Genome-wide Profiling of Coding and Non-coding RNAs to Identify Novel Regulatory Elements in Embryonic and Maturated Heart, Molecular Therapy - Nucleic Acids, 12, 158-173 (pdf+html)