Yibing Qyang PhD

Assistant Professor of Medicine (Cardiology) and of Pathology; Section of Cardiovascular Medicine

Research Interests

Heart; Stem cell; ES cell; iPS cell; Physiology; Tissue engineering; Small molecule; Patient; Disease; Cardiovascular

Current Projects

1. Isolate cardiovascular progenitor and fundtional cardiomycoytes from human ES and iPS cells, genearte engineered heart tissues with these heart cells, and test their functions in injured animal heart.

2. Generate patient-specific iPS cells using Cre-loxp-based transgene-free and modified mRNA strategies, derive heart cells from iPS cells, and study heart disease pathogenesis and mechanisms using 2D and 3D in vitro model.

3. Study self-renewal and cardiac differentiation of cardiovascular progenitor cells using murine embryonic heart and transgenic models.

Research Summary

My research laboratory seeks to understand the basic biology of a novel population of cardiovascular progenitor cells (CPC) that can produce the majority of heart and blood vessel cells in the heart. We are using these CPC cells to generate 3D cardiac tissue in order to repair the injured heart using animal models. We are also reprogramming skin cells from patients with cardiovascular diseases into pluripotent stem cells and then redifferentiate these pluripotent stem cells into mature cardiovascular cells. In this way, we will be able to derive unlimited amount of cardiovascular cells with disease-causing mutations and study cardiovascular disease mechanisms. Furthermore, we are pursuing to correct the disease-causing phenotype by genetic repair as well as initiating small molecule screening.

Extensive Research Description

My research laboratory seeks to understand the basic biology of a novel population of cardiovascular progenitor cells (CPC) derived from heart tissues and embryonic stem (ES) and induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. These CPC are capable of making nearly an entire heart during heart formation and are marked by Isl1, a LIM-Homeo domain transcription factor. Through a high-throughput small molecule screen coupled with murine ES cell and embryonic heart developmental studies, we have successfully discovered several small molecules modulating these CPC. One of our major goals is to further dissect the mechanisms governing the biology of these CPC. We believe that knowledge from these studies will enable us to enhance activities of adult CPC in the injured heart in vivo to ameliorate heart diseases.

Adult stem cells may undergo aging, possibly affecting their ability to maintain organ homeostasis. Therefore, our second research project is to obtain functional CPC and cardiomyocytes from human ES and iPS cells for cell-based therapy. In collaboration with Dr. Christopher Breuer’s laboratory at Yale, we will utilize bio-degradable scaffold to establish engineered heart tissues (EHT) with CPC and examine their contribution to heart repair and regeneration in animal models.

With purified CPC and cardiomyocytes from human ES and iPS, our third research project is to establish an in vitro cellular model to study human heart development and disease mechanisms by investigating the effect of genetic alterations on the functions of CPC and cardiomyocytes.

Lastly, we would like to take advantage of our previous experience in high-throughput small molecule screening to establish assays for new chemical screens to directly reprogram heart fibroblast (scar-forming cells) and quiescent adult epicardial cells into CPC, essential for heart repair and regeneration. By modulating adult resident CPC directly in vivo, and exploring cell-based therapy coupled with tissue engineering in vitro, we believe that our lab represents an exciting time on the forefront of heart repair and regeneration studies. We wholeheartedly welcome you to join our team and contribute to such exciting endeavors.


Selected Publications

  • Li W, Li Q, Qin L, Ali R, Qyang Y, Tassabehji M, Pober BR, Sessa WC, Giordano FJ, Tellides G (2013). Rapamycin Inhibits Smooth Muscle Cell Proliferation and Obstructive Arteriopathy Attributable to Elastin Deficiency. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 33(5):1028-35. PMID: 23493289
  • X. Ge, Y. Ren, Z. Yue, K. Kim, M. Lee, W. Li, P. Amos, E. Bozkulak, W. Zheng, H. Zhao, K. Martin, D. Kotton, G. Tellides, I. Park, L. Yue, *Y. Qyang (2012). Modeling Supravalvular Aortic Stenosis Syndrome Using Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells. Circulation 126 (14):1695-1704. (*Corresponding).
  • Jun-Dae Kim, Hyeseon Kang, Bruno Larrivee, Min Young Lee, Marcel Mettlen, Sandral L. Schmid, Beth L. Roman, Yibing Qyang, Anne Eichmann, and Suk-Won Jin (2012). Context-Dependent Proangiogenic Function of Bone Morphogenetic Protein Signaling Is Mediated by Disabled Homolog 2. Developmental Cell 23, 1-8 (August 14, 2012).
  • A. Alcon, E. Bozkulak, *Y. Qyang (2012). Regenerating functional heart tissue for myocardial repair. Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences 69(16):2635-56. (*Corresponding). PMID: 22388688
  • Min Young Lee, Baonan Sun, Simon Schliffke, Zhichao Yue, Mingyu Ye, Jere Paavola, Esra Cagavi Bozkulak, Peter J. Amos, Yongming Ren, Rong Ju, Yong Woo Jung, Xin Ge, Lixia Yue, Barbara E. Ehrlich, *Yibing Qyang (2012) Derivation of functional ventricular cardiomyocytes using endogenous promoter sequence from murine embryonic stem cells. Stem Cell Research 8(1):49-57 (*Corresponding). PMID: 22099020
  • Peter J. Amos, Esra Cagavi Bozkulak, *Yibing Qyang (2012). Methods of Cell Purification: A Critical Juncture for Laboratory Research and Translational Science. Cells Tissues Organs 195(1-2):26-402011 (*Corresponding). PMID: 21996576
  • Min Young Lee, Esra Cagavi Bozkulak, Simon Schliffke, Peter J. Amos, Yongming Ren, Xin Ge, Barbara E. Ehrlich, *Yibing Qyang (2011). High density cultures of embryoid bodies enhanced cardiac differentiation of murine embryonic stem cells. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 416(1-2):51-7. (*Corresponding). PMID: 22079290
  • Ren Y, Lee MY, Schliffke S, Paavola J, Amos PJ, Ge X, Ye M, Zhu S, Senyei G, Lum L, Ehrlich BE, *Qyang Y (2011). Small molecule Wnt inhibitors enhance the efficiency of BMP-4-directed cardiac differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells. J Mol Cell Cardiol 51(3): 280-7 (*Corresponding). PMID: 21569778.
  • Yibing Qyang, Silvia Martin-Puig, Murali Chiravuri, Susanna Chen, Huansheng Xu, Lei Bu, Xin Jiang, Lizhu Lin, Anne Granger, Alessandra Moretti, Leslie Caron, Xu Wu, Jonathan Clarke, Makoto M. Taketo, Karl-Ludwig Laugwitz, Randall T. Moon, Peter Gruber, Sylvia M. Evans, Sheng Ding, and Kenneth R. Chien (2007). The Renewal and Differentiation of Isl1+ Cardiovascular Progenitors Are Controlled by a Wnt/b-Catenin Pathway. Cell Stem Cell 1, 165-179.
  • Moretti, A., Caron, L., Nakano, A., Lam, J.T., Bernshausen, A., Chen, Y., Qyang, Y., Bu, L., Sasaki, M., Martin-Puig, S., Sun, Y., Evans, S.M., Laugwitz, K.L. and Chien, K.R. (2006) Multipotent embryonic isl1+ progenitor cells lead to cardiac, smooth muscle, and endothelial cell diversification. Cell, 127, 1151-1165.

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