Exploiting embryonic macrophages to enhance biomaterial and stem cell-based regenerative therapies—TRCHR & IBBME Special Seminar

September 6, 2017 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
MS 2172
Medical Sciences Building
1 King's College Cir, Toronto, ON M5S 1A8

Exploiting embryonic macrophages to enhance biomaterial and stem cell-based regenerative therapies

A Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research & IBBME Special Seminar

Slave Epelman

Slava Epelman, MD, PhD, FRCPC
Staff Cardiologist & Clinician-Scientist, Toronto General Hospital Research Institute, University Health Network, and Assistant Professor, Department of Laboratory Medicine & Pathobiology, University of Toronto


The immune system plays a critical role in tissue injury, repair and regeneration.

We identified a conserved lineage of embryonic-derived tissue macrophages, which are required for the robust regenerative response observed in amphibians and neonatal mammals—a response that is absent in adult mammals.

We utilize precise genetic techniques to track, deplete and isolate only embryonic-derived macrophages to define their reparative activities after cardiac injury.

To unlock the regenerative potential of the adult myocardium, we are utilizing designer biomaterials to enhance regenerative activities of embryonic-derived cardiac macrophages.

We are also utilizing embryonic macrophages to enhance the therapeutic efficacy of bioengineered tissues and stem cell-based therapies.

Our long-term goal is to create a novel immune-based infrastructure to support regenerative medicine approaches both in heart failure, and more generally, in all tissues.


Dr. Slava Epelman is a staff cardiologist and a clinician-scientist in the Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiology at the University Health Network, University of Toronto, Peter Munk Cardiac Centre and Ted the Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research. He is a scientist and the Cardiovascular Research Group lead at the Toronto General Hospital Research Institute.

Dr. Epelman obtained his MD / PhD (in Immunology) from the University of Calgary and then completed his medical residency / clinical fellowships at the Cleveland Clinic, Baylor College of Medicine and Washington University.

His basic science interests are focused on identifying the complex roles of the heterogeneous immune subsets that reside within, and are recruited to to myocardium.

The goal is to identify their precise roles in cardiac tissue injury and regeneration, and then to utilize these immunological principles to enhance the therapeutic potential stem-cell and bio-engineering based approaches to heart failure.

His translational research interests are focused on identifying how immune cell composition within organs can predict organ recover, and how that immune cell composition can be altered to promote tissue repair.