Douglas Cowan, PhD
Dr. Cowan is a cell biologist studying the cardiovascular system. His laboratory is using engineered tissue containing stem cells to improve heart function.
He received his Ph.D. from the University of Toronto in 1994. He was subsequently a Fellow of the Medical Research Council of Canada at the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute at Mount Sinai Hospital before moving to Children’s Hospital Boston in 1998.
Dr. Cowan’s laboratory is developing cell-based approaches to treat cardiac disorders in humans. For example, engineered tissue is being fabricated to act as an electrical conduit in the heart for use in children that lack normal atrioventricular node function. They hope to provide an alternative to cardiac pacemaker implantation in these patients. In a related project, Dr. Cowan is developing methods to expand and control the differentiation of adult tissue-specific progenitor cells to establish their regenerative and reparative potential for the heart. Lastly, he is involved in a collaborative effort to provide a clinically-relevant treatment for acute myocardial infarction by injecting autologously-derived mitochondria in and around the affected tissue to decrease the extent of ischemic injury and enhance functional recovery.