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Cardiovascular development, repair and regeneration

The developing cardiac lymphatic vessels and tissue-resident macrophages
The developing cardiac lymphatic vessels and tissue-resident macrophages

The application of epicardial cell biology to treatment of cardiovascular injury originates from the epicardium’s developmental plasticity and from the ability to reactivate these properties in the adult heart. The embryology underlying epicardium-derived cells (EPDCs) sets them apart from other adult cardiac stem cell populations and provides the rational underpinning prospective pharmacological and genetic manipulations aimed at mobilising and guiding these cells towards regenerating the injured adult heart.


•    To define the regenerative potential of activated adult EPDCs, as directly compared to their developmental counterparts

•    To determine the molecular signature which defines the active population and mechanistically how these cells can be reprogrammed towards embryonic potency

•    To identify novel inducers and signalling pathways which might be extrapolated to human EPDCs and facilitate drug discovery.


E9.5 GFP+ mouse heart

 E9.5 GFP+ mouse heart


Adult mouse heart section: red, muscle; green, epicardium/vessels


Thymosin beta4-induced adult neovascularisation within an expanded epicardium

Collaborations & Funding

Reaching out to the public

Lab News

  • Congratulations to Postdoctoral Research Scientist Dr Cristina Villa Del Campo from the Riley Research Group who won the ‘Heart Zone’ section of “I’m a Scientist Get me Out of here”. The X Factor-style competition see scientists from across the UK interact online with school students from a number of UK schools. The students are able to ask the scientists anything they want and vote for their favourite scientist to win. More information can be found here
  • New treatment offers hope for heart attack sufferers - Paul Riley gives an interview for ITV News (Alok Jha), ITV News, 20th May 2015.
  • Dr Xin Sun has recently joined the Riley Group.
  • Dr Cristina Villa del Campo has recently joined the Riley Group.



Meet the team

Riley Lab Photographs

Related research themes