More than 2.4 million Canadians suffer from heart disease. As the disease progresses, it may cause a heart attack that can lead to sudden death. Those who survive are often left with a damaged heart that will fail over time. There is a need to understand how the body tries to repair the heart after the initial damage, and how this process may influence how quickly the heart fails.
As Canada Research Chair in Translational Immuno-Cardiology, Dr. Justin Deniset’s aim is to determine how the immune system contributes to the healing process after a heart attack. He and his research team are using high-powered microscopes to track how specific cells from the blood or the cavity surrounding the heart can be attracted to the heart after a heart attack, and visualize which cells they talk and play with in that local environment. Ultimately, understanding how specific immune cells behave following a heart attack will generate new information about repair in the heart.