The Gundry laboratory is passionate about developing and applying analytical technologies to benefit the stem cell and cardiac fields. Our long term goals broadly include the development of new reagents, approaches, and knowledge that will benefit our understanding and treatment of heart disease. Towards that end, major efforts focus on developing new strategies to generate well defined chamber- and maturation stage-specific stem cell derived cardiomyocytes to facilitate the use of these cell types in downstream research and clinical applications. We are also studying a unique cohort of advanced heart failure patients to develop non-invasive methods to identify patients with potential for myocardial recovery and to precisely monitor disease progression and recovery with mechanical circulatory support.
Living on the Edge (of the cell)
Broadly speaking, we apply state-of-the-art analytical tools including mass spectrometry and flow cytometry to identify, characterize, and quantify proteins, glycans, and proteoforms in human cells - from stem cells we grow in a dish to cells isolated from tissue. Major efforts currently focus on the subset of glycoprotein and glycan molecules that are localized to the cell surface (i.e. the surfaceome), including those molecules that can be used to identify and isolate specific cell types of interest. Such approaches are used in both our stem cell derived cardiomyocyte work as well as the heart failure studies. Another significant effort in the laboratory focuses on exploiting unique metabolic requirements of human pluripotent stem cells and early progenitor cell populations to develop new strategies to improve the quality, homogeneity, and maturity of stem cell derived progeny.
All Interdisciplinary, All the Time
Working at the interface of analytical chemistry, stem cell biology and cardiac biology, the major tools in our toolbox include protein biochemistry, mass spectrometry, proteomics, metabolomics, glycoproteomics, glycomics, chromatography, immunofluorescence imaging, flow cytometry, and state-of-the art stem cell culturing and differentiation methods.
Gundry lab trainees at the graduate student and post-doctoral level do all their own stunts. In short, trainees gain experience in all aspects of their projects - from sample generation (either cell culture or tissue isolation) to sample preparation for mass spectrometry, data acquisition (mass spectrometry and flow cytometry) all the way through to data analysis and bioinformatic processing for interpretation. We believe that hands-on experience in both the biological and analytical aspects provides tremendous benefits and opportunities for insights not otherwise likely.