Latest publication

Single-Cell Transcriptomic Analysis of Cardiac Differentiation from Human PSCs Reveals HOPX-Dependent Cardiomyocyte Maturation

Dr Palpant and colleagues have published the most in-depth study of exactly how human stem cells can be turned into heart cells. The work involved measuring changes in gene activity in tens of thousands of individual cells as they move through the stages of heart development.

Unlike those tissues, the heart does not have the capacity for self-repair after damage (such as a heart attack). This is one reason why heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide. This research may help us find ways to repair the heart in the future. Read more


The Stem Cells and Cardiovascular Development lab run by Dr Nathan Palpant uses human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs), genomics, genome editing, and disease modelling to study mechanisms controlling cardiovascular development and disease.

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death worldwide and new therapeutics are required to address growing public health demands. Expanding treatment options for cardiovascular diseases requires interdisciplinary research from developmental biology to translation.

To this end, Dr Palpant leads functional genomics and epigenetic studies at single cell resolution and across diverse cardiac and vascular fates to determine the genetic basis of cell identity and fate.

His team is developing stem cell models of disease for drug discovery. They are also building links with clinician/researchers bringing together stem cell biology, mechanical-assist devices, and large animal disease models to identify new approaches to address cardiovascular disease.

Dr Palpant received training in cardiac physiology (PhD, University of Michigan) and developmental biology and genomics (University of Washington), resulting in 27 publications in high-impact journals including Nature, Nature Protocols, and Development.

In November 2015, Dr Palpant relocated to The University of Queensland’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience to establish the Stem Cells and Cardiovascular Development Laboratory.

During his career, Dr Palpant has received internationally competitive awards and positions including:

  • The International Society for Heart Research Young Investigator Award
  • International speaking invitations in the US, Europe, Australia, and Asia
  • He is an IMB Group Leader, Co-Director of Stem Cells Australia’s Cardiac Repair and Regeneration theme, and Co-Director of the Queensland Facility for Advanced Genome Editing. 


Using genomics to elucidate developmental cell lineage decisions, Dr Nathan Palpant


ResearcherID Scopus Orcid


Researcher biography

Dr Nathan Palpant completed a BSc in Biology (magna cum laude) from Whitworth University in 2001 and a PhD in Molecular and Integrative Physiology from the University of Michigan in 2009. He then completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Washington Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine in 2015 studying the genetic and signaling basis of lineage decisions in cardiovascular development. In 2015 he was recruited as Group Leader at the University of Queensland's Institute for Molecular Bioscience where he now heads the Stem Cell and Cardiovascular Development Laboratory. His laboratory focuses on mechanisms underlying mesoderm cell lineage decisions using human pluripotent stem cells, genomics, genome engineering, and bioengineering.