TCIC student researcher joins a world-class cardiac tissue engineering lab at UMinn.

It is with great pride and no small regret that we recently learned current TCIC senior research student, Victor Piazza, a 2009 Biotechnology graduate has accepted a laboratory position in the Doris Taylor lab in Minneapolis. This lab was recently featured in a number of national and international news stories for their pioneering work on cardiac decellularization/recellularization. The Taylor Lab research has been of considerable interest to us since we first heard about it. In principle, it actually closely parallels cardiac projects we have been doing in the TCIC since 2005. Victor has been working for the past two years on a continuing series of cardiac artificial tissue projects and aspires to eventually take a Ph.D. in Bioengineering or Regenerative Medicine. It would appear that he is off to a good start!

During his time at the TCIC, Victor has participated in and presented his research at several national, state and local research meetings. He has also participated in a number of research-related outreach activities. Victor’s projects have focused on characterizing avian embryonic heart tissue in complex 3D artificial tissues (ATs). This is one of several developmental biology tissue modeling projects at the TCIC. His work involved advanced cell culture and tissue engineering methods as well as several approaches to microscopy for morphological characterization of the ATs. Among the scientific presentations made by Victor have been the following:

Piazza V, Lyden TW., Tissue and cellular characterization of long-term cardiac artificial tissues cultured in 3D using natural ECM materials. National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) 2010, Missoula MT. (PP), UW System RSCA Day 2010 (PP), System “Posters in the Rotunda” 2010, Madison, WI (PP), 3nd Wisconsin Science and Technology Symposium, UW-Green Bay WI (PP).

Piazza P*, Sams P and Lyden TW., The application of natural extracellular matrix
materials to generate cardiac artificial tissues. 16th Annual California McNair Scholars Symposium, Berkeley, CA (PP), National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) 2009, LaCrosse WI. (PP), System “Posters in the Rotunda” 2009, Madison, WI (PP), UWRF RSCA Day 2009 (PP), 2nd Wisconsin Science and Technology Symposium, UW-LaCrosse WI (PP).

The entire Tissue and Cellular Innovation Center crew wishes Victor well and will follow his continued successes in cardiac tissue regeneration with intense interest.

Best of luck Victor! Make us proud!!!

Images of Victor presenting his research at national and statewide meetings. These include the National Conference on Undergraduate Research 2009 and 2010 and Posters in the Rotunda 2009. From the top left, Victor with Senator Harsdorf in Madison, explaining his work to peers at NCUR 2009 and 2010, discussing his work with the new UWRF Chancellor, Dr. Van Galen and with his fellow TCIC student researchers at NCUR 2010.

For background information on the UMinn cardiac decell/recell research go to: or