Shannon Tessier, Ph.D.

Assistant Investigator
Center for Engineering in Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital
Assistant Professor of Surgery
Harvard Medical School
gene expression; hibernation; muscle, skeletal; myocardium; myogenic regulatory factors; sciuridae The core of Dr. Tessier’s research program is the translation of lessons from nature to the bedside. More specifically, naturally occurring suspended animation occurs in species from seven different orders of mammals, suggesting the underlying machinery responsible for this phenomenon is present in all mammals, including humans. The ability to slow biological time would help increase the shelf life of organs for transplantation, aid the treatment of acute events such as cardiac arrest, heart attack, or stroke, facilitate delivery of aid to mass casualty situations resulting from natural disaster or war, and enable long-term space travel, among other significant implications in human health and disease. To effectively translate these positive survival strategies to organisms without this natural capacity, we take an interdisciplinary approach which applies techniques and tools from molecular and cell biology to tissue and bio-engineering.