Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Germaine Mendez Rose Hills

An Insight into Unlocking the Regenerative Potential of Cardiomyocytes

Despite the apparent limitations in the regenerative capacity observed in higher vertebrates, regeneration was observed to be induced in non-regenerative animals, indicating that the potential for regeneration is in fact present. A recent regenerative study demonstrated that administration of amino acids (L-leucine and L-Glutamine) and insulin/sugar, induced a regenerative response in Drosophila and mice, species known to have limited regenerative potential. The results of this study demonstrate a remarkable conserved effect of nutrient supplementation on the activation of regeneration between species with a high degree of evolutionary divergence. This suggests the existence of an underlying energetic parameter driving tissue regeneration across species, which implies that these findings may be replicated in specific tissue types, such as in cardiac tissue composed of cardiomyocytes, which are known for their lack of regenerative capability. By identifying and targeting the potential energetic parameters that facilitate tissue regeneration, I hypothesize that the administration of amino acids and other nutritional components may promote cardiac regeneration in both Drosophila and mice. If the regenerative effect can be harnessed and applied to damaged cardiac tissue, it could offer promising therapeutic interventions for heart disease by promoting tissue regeneration.

Message To Sponsor

I am incredibly grateful to the Rose Hills Foundation for their generous support of my research. Being selected as a SURF fellow is a tremendous honor, and your contribution has greatly magnified the significance of this opportunity. As a first-generation student, this funding holds immense value for me and will undoubtedly leave a lasting impact on my academic and professional journey.
Major: Molecular and Cell Biology
Mentor: Guo Huang
Sponsor: SURF Rose Hills
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