Sasha Mendjan, Institute of Molecular Biotechnology, Austria

Sasha Mendjan

Sasha Mendjan is a principal investigator at the Institute for Molecular Biotechnology in Vienna (IMBA), elucidating human heart development, regeneration, and disease mechanisms. Sasha was trained in genetics and biochemistry at the Ludwig Maximillian University in Munich and obtained his Ph.D. at the EMBL & University of Heidelberg, working on the chromosomal regulation of transcription. During his postdoc at the University of Cambridge, he developed a comprehensive differentiation system from human pluripotent stem cells into all major mesoderm lineages, enabling the mechanistic dissection of the underlying specification principles. Based on these insights, Sasha’s group at IMBA established self-organizing cardiac organoids (cardioids), mimicking the chamber-like architecture and all the embryonic compartments of the human heart. The Mendjan team is developing this platform further to understand human cardiogenesis and fetal regeneration and address one of the most significant bottlenecks in biomedical research – the lack of physiological models of the human heart to understand disease and develop new therapies.

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