Welcome to the Zangi Lab
Dr. Lior Zangi’s Laboratory was established in 2014 on the 7th Floor of the Hess Building. The Zangi lab’s research is centralized around Modified mRNA (modRNA) is an attractive and novel in vivo gene delivery method that allows high gene expression in a variety of organs, including the heart. Expression is seen within 10 minutes following delivery and can last from several days and up to a week. The strength of Modified mRNA as a gene delivery therapy is in its safety, transiently, and high expressivity. It does not require nuclear localization or transcription or integration into the host genome. Most importantly, the modifications made to the mRNA allow it to avoid the innate immune system, specifically TLR activation, and reduce mRNA cleavage due to its lack of recognition by RNase. Our main goal is to unravel regenerative genes that can enhance cardiac regeneration after injury. For that, we are using modified mRNA as a novel gene delivery system to locally up-regulate or downregulate selected genes after myocardial infarction in small and large animal models. We recently optimized our modified mRNA delivery methods to the heart and identify a novel system that allows translation specifically in cardiomyocytes or non-cardiomyocytes (specific modified mRNA translation system (SMRTs)). We also discover several novel therapeutic target genes that enable cardiovascular regeneration, cardiac protection, or cardiac regeneration post-ischemic injury.