BSc in Biology, Carleton University, Ottawa, ON.
PhD in Cellular and Molecular Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON.
CIHR Postdoctoral Fellowship, University Health Network (TGHRI), Toronto, ON.
My lab studies the intersection between immunology and cardiac biology to better understand the immune cells that reside in the heart and the local niche factors that govern them. The ultimate goal of this research is to develop novel immunotherapies to treat heart disease.
In the lab we focus on a type of innate immune cell that resides in all tissues throughout the body known as tissue resident macrophages. These cells have important generalized functions, such as phagocytosis of dead cells and clearance of cellular debris, in addition to many tissue-specific functions. In the heart for example, cardiac resident macrophages play a critical role in development (coronary artery patterning), function (electrical conductance), and repair (infarct healing). Although macrophages were identified more than a century ago, we are only starting to understand the local factors and cell circuits that control cell density, longevity, and polarization. My research interests are aimed at understanding the signals and tissue niche factors that mediate these processes and how these cell interactomes can become dysregulated in disease. Using mouse models of ischemic injury (ie. heart attack), genetic fate mapping, and single-cell RNA-sequencing, we study macrophage heterogeneity in the heart and how resident macrophage subsets expand in number to infer their protective and regenerative functions. Our overall goal is to improve cardiovascular health through a better understanding of tissue immunology and inflammation
Lab website: coming soon
Dick SA*, Wong A*, Hamidzada H*, Nejat S*, Nechanitzky R*, Vohra S, Zaman R, Kantores C, Aronoff L, Momen A, Nechanitzky D, Li WY, Ramachandran P, Becher B, Cybulsky MI, Billia F, Keshavjee S, Mital S, Robbins CS, Mak TW, Epelman S. (2022) Three tissue resident macrophage subsets coexist across organs with conserved origins and life cycles. Science Immunology 7(67): eabf7777.
Zaman R, Hamidzada H, Kantores C, Wong A, Dick SA, Wang Y, Momen A, Aronoff A, Lin J, Razani B, Mital S, Billia F, Lavine KJ, Nejat S and Epelman S. (2021) Selective loss of resident macrophage-derived insulin-like growth factor-1 abolishes adaptive cardiac growth to stress. Immunity 54(9): 2057-2071.
Dick SA, Zaman R, Epelman S. (2019) Using high-dimensional approaches to probe monocytes and macrophages in cardiovascular disease. Frontiers in Immunology 10: 2146.
Dick SA*, Macklin JA*, Nejat S*, Momen A, Clemente-Casares X, Althagafi MG, Chen J, Kantores C, Hosseinzadeh S, Arnoff L, Wong A, Zaman R, Barbu I, Besla R, Lavine KJ, Razani B, Ginhoux F, Husain M, Cybulsky MI, Robbins CS and Epelman S. (2019) Self-renewing resident cardiac macrophages limit adverse remodeling following myocardial infarction. Nat Immunol 20(1): 29-39.
Clemente-Casares X*, Hosseinzadeh S*, Barbu I, Dick SA, Macklin JA, Wang Y, Momen A, Kantores C, Aronoff L, Farno M, Lucas TM, Avery J, Zarrin-Khat D, Elsaesser HJ, Razani B, Lavine KJ, Husain M, Brooks DG, Robbins CS, Cybulsky M and Epelman S. (2017) A CD103+ conventional dendritic cell surveillance system prevents development of overt heart failure during subclinical viral myocarditis. Immunity 47(5): 974-89
Dick SA, Epelman S. (2016) Chronic Heart Failure and Inflammation: What do we really know? Circulation Research 119(1): 159-76.
Dick SA, Chang NC, Kawabe Y, Litchfield DW, Rudnicki MA, Megeney LA. (2015) Caspase 3 cleavage of Pax7 inhibits self-renewal of satellite cells. PNAS 112(38): 5246-52.
Complete list: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/?term=sarah+A+dick