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Jacot Lab for Pediatric Cardiovascular Engineering Jacot Lab for Pediatric Cardiovascular Engineering Jacot Lab for Pediatric Cardiovascular Engineering
Jacot Lab for Pediatric Cardiovascular Engineering


Postdoc position available. Please click here for details.

Undergraduates interested in research experience should also contact Dr. Jeff Jacot at jeff.jacot@rice.edu.

Jacot Lab News & Events


Apr 13, 2010
Jen Petsche, a graduate student in the Pediatric Cardiovascular Bioengineering Lab has been selected for an National Science Foundation Graduate Scholarship. This is a prestigious award that is highly competitive and reflects a lot of work on Jen's part. Congratulations, Jen! »

Feb 23, 2010
Jacot JG, Kita-Matsuo H, Wei K, Chen HSV, Omens JH, Mercola M, & McCulloch AD. Cardiac myocyte force development during differentiation and maturation. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. 1188:121-127 (2010) »

Feb 22, 2010
The Effect of Substrate Stiffness on Cardiomyocyte Action Potential. JD Myers & JG Jacot.Amniotic Fluid-Derived Stem Cell Viability on Poly(Ethylene Glycol) Hydrogels. JJ Petsche & JG Jacot.Society for Biomaterials Biomaterials Day at Texas A&M University. College Station, TX. Feb 22, 2010. »

Jan 18, 2010
News Release Simmons Family Foundation awards collaborative research grantsTeams from Rice University, Texas Children's Hospital and The Methodist Hospital Research Institute study flu, newborn hearts, brain tumors and tuberculosisHOUSTON – (Jan. 12, 2010) – Finding ways to fight the flu, repair newborn hearts, eliminate brain tumors without surgery and diagnose tuberculosis quickly are the goals of research funded by the second annual round of grants by the Virginia and L.E. Simmons Family Foundation Collaborative Research Fund. The $3 million initiative to discover new ways to diagnose and treat diseases supports collaboration among researchers at Rice University, Texas Children’s Hospital and The Methodist Hospital Research Institute (TMHRI). Four projects chosen from 33 proposals involving 114 Rice, Texas Children’s Hospital and TMHRI scientists have been awarded one-year seed grants of $143,500. Successful initial findings will ideally lead the researchers to pursue further funding from the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health and other organizations. The awards were announced today in a ceremony at the Houston offices of SCF Partners.The fund was formed to promote novel solutions to difficult medical problems through the combined expertise of Texas Medical Center scientists, engineers and physicians who might not otherwise collaborate."Our family was incredibly pleased to witness the superb research that was conducted by the recipients during the first round of grant research," said L.E. Simmons of last year's awards, which funded initiatives to address breast and childhood cancers, hearing loss and identification of people at risk for tuberculosis. "Even more important is the collaboration that took place on both an institutional and individual level at these three institutions. "We were equally pleased to see that the level of quality of the proposals continued in the competition this second year and are excited to see the progress this year’s recipients will make on these scientific research and collaborative endeavors."New way to fight fluJianpeng Ma, who holds a joint appointment as a professor in bioengineering at Rice and professor at Baylor College of Medicine (BCM), and Pedro Piedra, an infectious disease specialist at Texas Children's Hospital and a professor in BCM's Department of Molecular Virology and Microbiology, will use advanced computer modeling to analyze A/H3N2, an increasingly common strain of flu virus that kills thousands in the United States each year. By better understanding H3N2's antigenic drift – a viral strategy for avoiding the human immune system – they hope to identify mutations that have the potential to cause an epidemic. Their ultimate goal is a more efficient way to design flu vaccines.Their work, they wrote, "is expected to have a far-reaching impact on the fields of influenza and other pathogens, such as HIV." Ma and his colleagues recently published a paper that used a similar technique to find a weakness in the H1N1 "swine flu" virus that could lead to more effective vaccines.Infant hearts repairs that lastBirth defects are the No. 1 cause of infant deaths in the United States, and heart-related defects are the most common reason. Because these defects can frequently be identified in the womb, surgeons are often able to apply plastic patches to infant hearts shortly after birth.But such patches are only a quick fix, because they don't grow with the child and can cause problems as time goes on. Jeffrey Jacot, an assistant professor in bioengineering at Rice who holds a joint appointment at Texas Children’s Hospital, proposes using stem cells from the mother's amniotic fluid to grow a heart patch that will bind tightly to and grow with the child's own heart. The tissue, which could be grown once a fetus is diagnosed with a heart defect, would be genetically identical to the child and could be implanted shortly after birth. Jacot wrote that such patches would "eventually degrade and become entirely replaced by cell-generated heart tissue." He'll draw on the experience of a team of co-principal investigators and collaborators that includes Jane Grande-Allen, a Rice associate professor in bioengineering; Jennifer West, Rice's Isabel C. Cameron Professor, department chair for Bioengineering and a professor in chemical and biomolecular engineering; Anthony Johnson, a physician at Texas Children's Fetal Center; Kenneth Moise, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology in the Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine at BCM and also a member of the Texas Children's Fetal Center; and Charles Fraser, chief of congenital heart surgery and cardiac surgeon in-charge at Texas Children’s Hospital.Helping immune system battle brain tumorsStephen Gottschalk and Yvonne Kew want to set a patient's own immune system to work against glioblastoma multiforme, the most common form of brain tumor. Recent studies show such tumors often incorporate a virus called cytomegalovirus (CMV). The researchers hope to grow CMV-specific T-cells – the white blood cells that play a central role in humans' immune system – from glioblastoma patients for future clinical studies. If they successfully isolate the cells, they will pursue funds for a clinical study to test CMV-specific T-cells in glioblastoma patients.Gottschalk is an associate professor in pediatrics and immunology at Texas Children's Cancer Center and an assistant professor of pediatrics at BCM's Center for Cell and Gene Therapy. Kew is an assistant member at TMHRI. Collaborators include Nabil Ahmed, an assistant professor of pediatrics at BCM; Robert Grossman, chair of the Department of Neurosurgery at The Methodist Neurological Institute; Michael Scheurer, an assistant professor of pediatrics at BCM and adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Epidemiology at The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center; Ann Leen, an assistant professor of pediatrics at BCM and an instructor at Texas Children's Hospital; and Suzanne Powell, a pathologist at TMHRI.Microscope array will ID TBIdentifying patients who have drug-resistant tuberculosis now involves storing samples of sputum – saliva and respiratory mucus – in an incubator for several weeks to see if TB bacteria grow. But to stop the spread of TB, which kills nearly 2 million people a year, infected patients need to be treated quickly. Rice's Rebecca Richards-Kortum and Edward Graviss of TMHRI are working on a low-cost "array microscope" that incorporates 24 miniature microscopes working in parallel to screen a patient's entire sample simultaneously, which would reduce the chance of missing an infection. They are also developing image-processing algorithms that will automatically identify and quantify the presence of TB in microscope images and drastically cut the time it takes to diagnose the disease."Effective and affordable antibiotic treatments for TB already exist," they wrote, "which means improvements in diagnosis will directly translate into lives saved."Richards-Kortum is Rice's Stanley C. Moore Professor of Bioengineering, and Graviss is an associate member at TMHRI and a research scientist at the Center for Molecular and Translational Human Infectious Diseases. Collaborators are Rice's Tomasz Tkaczyk, an assistant professor in bioengineering and electrical and computer engineering, and Mark Pierce, a postdoctoral research fellow.The Simmons familyL.E. Simmons is president and founder of SCF Partners, an investment firm that provides management expertise to energy service companies. He is a trustee of Rice and Texas Children’s Hospital and a board member of TMHRI.Virginia Simmons is vice president of the Simmons Family Foundation, which supports religious, art and cultural organizations, education, and youth and medical associations. For information on the Virginia and L.E. Simmons Family Foundation Collaborative Research Fund, visit www.collaborativeresearchfund.org.Contacts: Rice University -- Mike Williams, 713-348-6728, mikewilliams@rice.eduTexas Children's Hospital -- Elizabeth Hipp, 832-824-2108, emhipp@texaschildrens.org The Methodist Hospital -- Erin Fairchild, 832-667-5811, efairchild@tmhs.org »

Nov 03, 2009
Biomechanics and Cardiac Tissue Engineering. Baylor College of Medicine Molecular Physiology & Biophysics Faculty Seminar. »

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