Cardiovascular diseases and drugs: hiPSC models moving forward

Cardiovascular cells derived from hPSC are of growing interest for drug discovery and toxicity. Our lab has been investigating microphysiological solutions using multicellular cardiac microtissues to quantify the outcomes of drug and disease mutation responses in situ. Isogenic pairs of hiPSC have proven essential to compensate interline variability. We have shown that iPSC derived cardiomyocytes with mutations in ion channel genes can accurately predict changes in cardiac electrical properties and reveal drug sensitivities also observed in patients.


Christine Mummery studied physics at the University of Nottingham, UK and has a PhD in Biophysics from the University of London. After positions as postdoc and tenured group leader at the Hubrecht Institute, she became professor at the University Medical Centre Utrecht in 2002. After a sabbatical at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute in 2007, she introduced human iPS cells to the Netherlands. In 2008, she became Professor of Developmental Biology at Leiden University Medical Centre in the Netherlands and head of the Department of Anatomy and Embryology. Her research concerns heart development and the differentiation of pluripotent human stem cells into the cardiac and vascular lineages and using these cells as disease models, for safety pharmacology and drug discovery. Immediate interests are on developing biophysical techniques for characterization and functional analysis of cardiovascular cells from hPSC. In 2015 she became guest professor at the Technical University of Twente to develop organ-on-chip models. She was recently awarded a multimillion grant for this purpose and is awardee of a prestigious European Research Council Advanced Grant.

She is a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Science (KNAW), and board member and incoming president of the International Society of Stem Cell research (ISSCR); she is also former board of the KNAW and the Netherlands Medical Research Council (ZonMW). She was awarded the Hugo van de Poelgeest Prize for Animal Alternatives in research, has co-authored a popular book on stem cells “Stem Cells: scientific facts and Fiction” (2nd edition 2014) and is editor in chief of the ISSCR journal Stem Cell Reports. She is also on the editorial boards of Cell Stem Cell, Cardiovascular Research and Stem Cells.