Teodelinda Mirabella, Ph.D.
Leading Preclinical Scientist
“Engineered Blood Vessel Therapeutics and Discovery Tools”
Perfusion of tissues by blood vessels is crucial for growth, survival and function of organs during development and adult life. In the same way, organs and bioengineered tissues sized beyond a few cubic millimeters need to be promptly vascularized once implanted, to not undergo necrosis.
In my postdoc, I have employed both 3D printing and microfabrication techniques to mold vascular structures, and employed a whole set of cellular, genetic and environmental tools to translate “organ-on-chip” findings related to angiogenesis and maturation of vessels into in vivo disease models. More in detail, I have showed that orthotopic implantation of conduit like-patterned endothelial cells (EC), arranged in different geometries, use a CDC42-dependent anastomotic mechanism to re-establish distal perfusion of ischemic limbs and cardiac function in murine models of myocardium infarction and peripheral artery disease. I have also investigated how inflammation affects RhoA-Rac1 balance and vascular permeability in a N-Cadherin dependent manner.
My research is mainly interested in developing and utilizing bioengineered platforms as tools for discovery biology, as well as new therapeutic devices for applications in areas of highly unmet medical needs.
Teodelinda Mirabella graduated with a BS and a MS (with thesis) in Medical and Molecular Biotechnology from University of Vita-Salute San Raffaele, Milan. Having realized how the low supply of donor tissues is a limiting factor in transplants and cell therapies, she decided to pursue a PhD in Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine in the lab of a tissue engineering pioneer, Professor Ranieri Cancedda, to gain expertise in stem cell biology. With the fetal stem cell background acquired during the PhD and in need of a basic research training, Dr. Mirabella decided to join the Yale Cardiovascular Research Center (YCVRC), where she was an associate for two years. There, under the guidance of Dr. Dan Greif, she gained expertise in embryology and development biology, cell and mouse genetics. In March 2014 she moved to Boston where she was hired by Christopher Chen at Wyss-Harvard to investigate mechanobiology aspects of angiogenesis and vasculogenesis. Finally, she was given the opportunity to take a position at Moderna Therapeutics as a leading scientist for the preclinical development of cardiovascular targets for Astrazeneca. Other than performing translational research, she has been exposed to clinical trial planning and business strategical decision making.