Gary Lyons

Position title: Professor


Phone: Phone: (608) 262-2874

RESEARCH INTERESTS - Characterization of novel genes in the mouse cardiovascular system using gene trapping in embryonic stem cells

Headshot of Gary Lyons


Address: 4407 WIMR II – 1111 Highland Ave. – Madison, WI 53705




B.S., Yale University, Biology
Ph.D., Univ. of Pennsylvania, Anatomy
Post-Doc., Department of Medicine, Stanford University
Post-Doc., Department of Molecular Biology, Pasteur Institute, Paris, France


Histology Website Resources

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. Embryonic and adult stem cells hold the promise of being able to restore normal function to diseased organs such as the heart. Prior to use in humans, stem cell-based organ regeneration must be tested in animal models. In collaboration with the lab of Timothy Kamp, M.D., Ph.D. my lab is studying the potential of mouse embryonic (ES) cell-derived cardiac progenitors to repopulate the heart following myocardial infarction.

We have found that ES cells and their derivatives can regenerate cardiac muscle and the two elements of arteries, endothelial cells and smooth muscle cells, in the absence of an immune response or teratoma formation. In vitro models of stem cell-derived tissues such as cardiac muscle help us understand the basic biology of stem cell differentiation and provide a valuable mechanism for pharmacological testing in human tissues.

In collaboration with the lab of William Murphy, Ph.D., we are creating an in vitro 3-D culture model of the embryonic heart using ES cell-derived cardiac myocytes.

Representative Publications

  • Nelson DO, Lalit PA, Biermann M, Markandeya YS, Capes DL, Addesso L, Patel G, Han T, John MC, Powers PA, Downs KM, Kamp TJ, Lyons GE. Irx4 Marks a Multipotent, Ventricular-Specific Progenitor Cell.  Stem Cells. 2016 Dec;34(12):2875-2888.
  • Lalit PA, Salick MR, Nelson DO, Squirrell JM, Shafer CM, Patel NG, Saeed I, Schmuck EG, Yogananda SM, Wong R, Lea MR, Elicieri KW, Hacker T,  Crone, WC, Kyba M, Garry DJ, Stewart R, Thomson JA, Downs KM, Lyons GE, Kamp TJ. (2016) Lineage Reprogramming of Fibroblasts into Proliferative Induced Cardiac Progenitor Cells by Defined Factors. Cell Stem Cell, 18:354-67.
  • Nelson DO, Jin DX, Downs KM, Kamp TJ, Lyons GE. (2014) Irx4 identifies a chamber-specific cell population that contributes to ventricular myocardium development. Dev Dyn 243:381-92.
  • Ajeti V, Lien CH, Chen SJ, Su PJ, Squirrell JM, Molinarolo KH, Lyons GE, Eliceiri KW, Ogle BM, Campagnola PJ. (2013) Image-inspired 3D multiphoton excited fabrication of extracellular matrix structures by modulated raster scanning. Opt Express. 21:25346-55
  • Hanson K, Jung JP, Tran QA, Hsu SP, Iida R, Ajeti V, Campagnola PJ, Eliceiri KW, Squirrell JM, Lyons GE, Ogle BM. (2013) Spatial and Temporal Analysis of Extracellular Matrix Proteins in the Developing Murine Heart: A Blueprint for Regeneration. Tissue Eng Part A. 19:1132-43.
  • JM Squirrell, Fong JJ, Ariza CA, Mael A, Shevde NK, Lyons GE, TJ Kamp, KW Eliceiri, BM Ogle (2012) Endogenous Fluorescence Signatures in Living Pluripotent Stem Cells Change with Loss of Potency. PloS One, 7:e43708.
  • Zhang J, Klos M, 11 co-authors, Palacek SP, Lyons GE, Thomson JA, Kamp TJ. (2012) Extracellular Matrix-Promoted Epithelial Mesenchymal Transition for Robust Cardiac Differentiation of Human Pluripotent Stem Cells: the matrix sandwich method. Circ Res. 111:1125-36
  • Jung JP, Squirrell JM, Lyons GE, Eliceiri KW, Ogle BM.(2012) Imaging cardiac extracellular matrices: a blueprint for regeneration. Trends Biotechnol. 30:233-40.
  • Kamp, T.J. and Lyons, G.E. (2009) On the Road to iPS Cell Cardiovascular Applications. Circ Res. 105:617-619
  • Squirrel, J., Eliceiri, K., Kamp, T.J., Lyons, G.E., (2008) Applications of multiphoton and fluorescence lifetime microscopy of endogenous flourescence to the study of differentiation in mouse embryonic stem cells. Microsc Microanal. 14 Suppl 2:1472-3.
  • Hanley, E., Lauer, J.l., Micales, B.K., Lyons, G.E., Shohet, J.L. (2008) Surface-Directed Differentiation of Embryonic Stem Cells. Applied Physics Letters, 92, 193902-4.
  • Jongpaiboonkit, L., King, W.J., Lyons, G.E., Paguirigan, A., Warrick, J., Beebe, D.J., Murphy, W.L. (2008) Adaptable hydrogel array format for 3-dimensional cell culture, Biomaterials 23: 3346-56.
  • Singla, D.K., Lyons, G.E., Kamp, T.J., (2007) Transplanted Embryonic Stem Cells Following Mouse Myocardial Infarction Inhibit Apoptosis and Cardiac Remodeling, Am J Physiol: Heart and Circulatory Physiology 293 (2): H1308-14.