Sangeetha Vadakke-Madathil, PhD, is currently a junior faculty (Instructor of Medicine) at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY. After receiving her Ph.D. degree in human hematopoietic stem cells and transplant biology from National Centre for Cell Sciences, Pune, India, she completed her post-doctoral training at New York University and later at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai under the mentorship of Dr. Hina Chaudhry (Professor of Medicine and Director of Cardiovascular Regenerative Medicine at Mount Sinai). Dr. Vadakke-Madathil received rigorous training in the field of hematopoietic stem cell biology, transplantation, cardiovascular biology, and tissue regeneration during her doctoral and post-doctoral training. Her doctoral research contributed to the development of expanded hematopoietic cell grafts with enhanced potency to the existing protocols used for bone marrow transplantation. Her research further exploited a novel link between skeletogenesis and hematopoiesis wherein the endocrine factors (namely, Fgf23 and Klotho ) involved in bone mineralization showed direct influence on stem cell functions related to erythropoiesis and hematopoiesis in mouse models. These observations may reason for the vascular complications and changes in circulating blood cells in patients with advanced renal and cardiovascular diseases where FGF signaling is important. At Mount Sinai, Dr. Vadakke-Madathil spearheaded the advancement of the project in identifying unique multipotent Cdx2 cells of trophoblast lineage in the murine placenta that can regenerate injured hearts even when injected intravenously in male mice subjected to myocardial infarction. This study demonstrated that by utilizing a minimally invasive technique such as intravenous delivery, placental Cdx2 cells can be directly targeted toward the injured heart. This is a very critical area of research given the fact that appropriate cell types that can generate de novo cardiomyocytes in vivo have not been identified and hence provide the feasibility of developing allogeneic cell therapeutics for cardiac repair.
Dr. Vadakke-Madathil’s research background facilitated her to conceptualize a possible link between trophoblast stem cells and vasculogenesis in normal and disease conditions. An area of broad clinical implications with an immediate impact on women’s health will explore the contribution of placental trophoblast cells in preeclampsia, a life-threatening hypertensive pregnancy disorder. Her current study aims to delineate the interaction of trophoblast cells including CDX2 cells and endothelial cells to understand how the altered cellular interaction contributes to the progression of preeclampsia. The outcome will further our limited understanding of the factors at play during such conditions and will facilitate biomarker discoveries and therapeutic interventions that can improve cardiovascular health and more so maternal-fetal health thus reducing morbidity and mortality.