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DR Enzo Porrello




  • Dr Enzo Porrello heads the Cardiac Regeneration Laboratory at the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, The Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, and is a Senior Research Fellow in the School of Biomedical Sciences at The University of Melbourne.

    After completing his PhD in Physiology at The University of Melbourne, Dr Porrello was awarded an NHMRC/NHF C.J. Martin Fellowship to undertake postdoctoral training in Prof Eric Olson's laboratory at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, USA. Upon returning to Australia in 2012, Dr Porrello established the Cardiac Regeneration Laboratory at The University of Queensland, which he co-headed together with Dr James Hudson from 2013-2017. Dr Porrello maintains strong links to The University of Queensland where he holds an honorary appointment as an Associate Professor in the School of Biomedical Sciences.

    Dr Porrello has made a number of contributions to field of cardiac developmental and regenerative biology over the past 10 years. His discovery of a previously unappreciated developmental window for cardiac regeneration in the neonatal period has opened up an entirely new field of research, which has broad implications for the development of cardiac regenerative therapies for congenital and acquired forms of heart disease. His laboratory has contributed to an enhanced understanding of the transcriptional and epigenetic mechanisms governing cardiomyocyte maturation in the neonatal period, which remains a major area of research focus in his group. Ongoing work harnesses a range of technologies including animal models and human cardiac organoids derived from patient stem cells for disease modeling and drug development.

    Dr Porrello curerntly holds an NHMRC Career Development Fellowhsip and a Heart Foundation Future Leader Fellowship. His research has been recognised by a number of prestigious awards including the Metcalf Prize for Stem Cell Research, NHF Paul Korner I   


Member of

  • International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR). ISSCR Member 2014 -
  • American Heart Association (AHA). AHA Member 2011 -
  • Australian Physiological Society (AuPS). AuPS Member 2004 -
  • International Society for Heart Research (ISHR). ISHR Member 2003 -
  • International Society for Heart Research (Australasian Section). Australasian Section Council Member of the International Society for Heart Research (ISHR) 2013 - 2019


Selected publications


Additional Grant Information

  • NHMRC CDF and Heart Foundation Future Leader Fellowship, 'An RNA-based strategy for heart regeneration'. 2016-2019

    NHMRC Project Grant, 'Understanding the regenerative potential of the human heart in development and disease'. 2019-2022

    NHMRC Project Grant, 'Reprogramming adult cardiomyocytes to a neonatal proliferative state for heart regeneration'. 2019-2022

    MRFF Accelerated Translation/Stem Cells Australia, 'Bioengineering solutions for congenital heart repair'. 2019-2020

    Royal Children's Hospital Foundation, 'Melbourne Children's Centre for Cardiovascular Genomics and Regenerative Medicine (CardioRegen)'. 2018-2021


Education and training

  • PhD, University of Melbourne 2009
  • BSc (Hons), University of Melbourne 2004
  • BBiomedSc, University of Melbourne 2003

Awards and honors

  • Metcalf Prize for Stem Cell Research, NCSFA, 2018
  • School of Biomedical Sciences Teaching Excellence Award, The University of Queensland, 2016
  • Paul Korner Innovation Award, National Heart Foundation, 2015
  • NHMRC Fellowship, 2015
  • Barbara Ell Lecture, Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, 2015
  • Heart Foundation Queensland Researcher of the Year, National Heart Foundation, 2015
  • UQ Foundation for Research Excellence Award, The University of Queensland, 2014
  • A.K. McIntyre Medal, Australian Physiological Society, 2013
  • Postdoctoral Research Achievement Award, UT Southwestern Medical Center, 2012
  • C.J. Martin Research Fellowship (National Health & Medical Research Council, Australia), 2010
  • Dean's Award for Excellence in a PhD Thesis, University of Melbourne, 2010
  • Dean's Award (Honours Level), University of Melbourne, 2004


Available for supervision

  • Y

Supervision Statement

  • Our laboratory is interested in understanding the molecular mechanisms that guide heart development, disease and regeneration. We tailor projects towards the interests of the student with an emphasis on molecular biology approaches, animal models of cardiac regeneration/repair and human disease models using induced pluripotent stem cells. In addition, the scope of the projects can be modified to enable sufficient experimental work for Honours, Masters or PhD level degrees. Current research themes in the laboratory include:

    1) Post-natal control of cardiac gene regulatory networks:
    Epigenetic modifications are critical for the precise temporal regulation of gene expression during heart development. We are trying to map the changes in the genomic landscape during post-natal heart development to identify the molecular drivers of cardiac regeneration during early developmental stages.

    2) Modeling human heart development using human cardiac organoids:
    Recent advances in stem cell sciences and tissue engineering are providing unparalleled opportunities to generate human heart tissues in a dish. We are using human cardiac organoids to understand the mechanisms that regulate the developmental maturation of human heart muscle and to model congenital heart diseases.

    3) Functional genomic screens for cardiovascular drug discovery:
    We are also applying unbiased screening approaches to identify novel therapeutic candidates for cardiac regeneration in human cardiac organoids.

    Interested students are invited to discuss potential projects with Dr Porrello ( or