Jia-Qiang He of Louisville, Ky., has joined the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech as an assistant professor of stem cell physiology in the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology.

Prior to joining the college, He was an assistant professor in the Department of Medicine and the Department of Physiology and Biophysics at the University of Louisville. He previously worked as a manager and director of Cellular Dynamics International in Madison, Wis., after serving as a postdoctoral fellow and a scientist for the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

“Dr. Jia-Qiang He’s expertise adds to the veterinary college’s growing research portfolio on stem cells,” said Dr. S. Ansar Ahmed, professor and head of the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology. “Stem cells have the capability of self-renewal and can differentiate into almost any type of specialized cells in the body under certain conditions. They open doors to new cell-based therapies to treat different kinds of diseases, such as ischemic heart disease, diabetes, and neurological diseases.”

He’s laboratory seeks to understand stem cell cardiac lineage differentiation and to establish new approaches to use these cells for treatment of cardiac diseases. His research interests include stem cell biology, cardiac lineage differentiation, cardiomyocytes electrophysiology and functional maturity, stem cell tissue engineering, and stem cell-based therapy for heart diseases. This work will provide new insights into human stem cell cardiogenesis, vasculogenesis, and offer novel approaches to repair heart diseases.

He began his position at the veterinary college on March 1. He completed a doctorate in physiology from Peking Union Medical College and is a member of the International Society for Stem Cell Research and the American Heart Association.

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