Sara Nunes de Vasconcelos

Sara Vasconcelos | Assistant Professor
PhD (UERJ, Brazil)

Main Appointments

  • Assistant Scientist, Division of Experimental Therapeutics, Toronto General Research Institute, University Health Network

Additional Appointments

  • Institute of Biomaterials & Biomedical Engineering
  • Assistant Scientist, Heart & Stroke/Richard Lewar Centre of Excellence (HSRLCE), Faculty of Medicine
  • Assistant Scientist, Ontario Stem Cell Initiative

Contact Information

Toronto MaRS Discovery Tower, 101 College Street, Room 3-904
Toronto, Ontario M5G 1L7 Canada

+1 416 581-7527 (office)
sara.vasconcelos@utoronto.ca (email)


Research Themes

Research Interests

Motivated by the need to generate alternative therapeutic avenues to treat cardiovascular diseases, my research interests involve the development of 1) vascularization strategies in combination with human stem cells for regenerative medicine and 2) the generation of vascularized human tissue mimicking surrogate human tissues for cell biology studies and drug screening purposes. We are also interested in 3) understanding the nature and mechanistic basis of vessel maturation during adult neovascularization, 4) in the coupled development of cardiomyocytes and vasculature, and 5) in promoting human stem cell-derived cardiomyocyte maturation through biomimetic approaches.

Our long-term goal is to provide the basis for the development of innovative tools for regenerative medicine.

Strategies include: transgenic animal models, stem cells, cell culture and bioengineering approaches.

Select Publications

Nunes SS, Miklas JW, Radisic M. Maturation of stem cell-derived human heart tissue by mimicking fetal heart rate. Future Cardiol. 2013 Nov;9(6):751-4. PubMed PMID: 24180529.

Nunes SS, Miklas JW, Liu J, Aschar-Sobbi R, Xiao Y, Zhang B, Jiang J, Massé S, Gagliardi M, Hsieh A, Thavandiran N, Laflamme MA, Nanthakumar K, Gross GJ, Backx  PH, Keller G, Radisic M. Biowire: a platform for maturation of human pluripotent  stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes. Nat Methods. 2013 Aug;10(8):781-7. Epub 2013 Jun 23. PubMed PMID: 23793239.

Nunes SS, Maijub JG, Krishnan L, Ramakrishnan VM, Clayton LR, Williams SK, Hoying JB, Boyd NL. Generation of a functional liver tissue mimic using adipose stromal vascular fraction cell-derived vasculatures. Sci Rep. 2013;3:2141. PubMed PMID: 23828203.

Miklas JW, Nunes SS, Sofla A, Reis LA, Pahnke A, Xiao Y, Laschinger C, Radisic M. Bioreactor for modulation of cardiac microtissue phenotype by combined static stretch and electrical stimulation. Biofabrication. 2014 Jun;6(2):024113. Epub 2014 May 30. PubMed PMID: 24876342.

Boyd NL, Nunes SS, Krishnan L, Jokinen JD, Ramakrishnan VM, Bugg AR, Hoying JB. Dissecting the role of human embryonic stem cell-derived mesenchymal cells in human umbilical vein endothelial cell network stabilization in three-dimensional environments. Tissue Eng Part A. 2013 Jan;19(1-2):211-23. Epub 2012 Sep 12. PubMed PMID: 22971005.

Chang CC, Krishnan L, Nunes SS, Church KH, Edgar LT, Boland ED, Weiss JA, Williams SK, Hoying JB. Determinants of microvascular network topologies in implanted neovasculatures. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2012 Jan;32(1):5-14. Epub 2011 Nov 3. PubMed PMID: 22053070.

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