Dr. Shira Landau’s postdoc is at the University of Toronto, in the Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering. Her research is supported both by the Zuckerman scholarship and by a Rothschild Fellowship.
Drug discovery is difficult in heart disease, since mouse hearts are too different from human ones to provide good experimental models. Dr. Landau employs organ-on-a-chip technology, a way of growing miniaturized models of tissues starting from human stem cells, and then creating disease models and testing drugs on the tissue models. Dr. Landau hopes to develop a “heart-on-a-chip” using 3D printing, eventually personalizing it for patients whose arrhythmia makes it dangerous to modify their drug treatments. Different anti-arrhythmic drugs could be tested on such a chip to identify which works best for individual patients.
Dr. Landau earned her PhD in the Stem Cell and Tissue Engineering Laboratory, Faculty of Biomedical Engineering at Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, where she researched engineered tissue replacements. Such tissues need to connect to networks of blood vessels upon implantation, or the tissues will not receive necessary oxygen and nutrients. Dr. Landau’s research centered on improving the ability of the blood vessel system to connect to newly implanted engineered tissues like muscles by applying mechanical stimulation to the engineered tissues prior to implantation.