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Cardiologists and heart surgeons meet for 'Controversies and Advances' conference
Date:9/26/2007

York University Medical School, Altman has received three Howard W. Blakeslee Awards from the American Heart Association and the George Polk Award for excellence in journalism.

Eduardo Marbn, M.D., Ph.D., recently named director of the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute, will be the second keynote speaker and will discuss stem cell therapy for cardiac regeneration. Prior to joining Cedars-Sinai, Marbn was a member of The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine faculty for 22 years, most recently serving as chief of cardiology and professor of cardiology, physiology and biomedical engineering.

Editor-in-Chief of the journal Circulation Research and an expert in molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying heart problems, Marbn is widely known for directing major multidisciplinary research programs leading to gene therapy, drug treatment and stem cell discoveries.

The field of cardiology is poised for a revolution in which cell-based methods will be used to regrow healthy heart muscle after myocardial infarction or in chronic heart failure. Cardiac stem cells (CSCs) show great promise for regenerative therapy. Before 2003, when these resident stem cells within the heart were first discovered, the heart was thought to have little or no regenerative potential, said Marbn, providing a preview of his address.

We have isolated cardiac stem cells from adult human and porcine endomyocardial biopsy specimens, differentiated them in vitro and characterized their functional properties. They can regrow healthy heart muscle and blood vessels, Marbn continued. We also have developed methods to isolate and expand CSCs from routine biopsy specimens; they readily become excitable and contractile. These observations provide both a simple method and a solid rationale for the use of CSCs for autologous cardiac regeneration therapy.

Autologous refers to cells reimplanted within one patient, not transplanted from one person to another.


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Contact: Sandy Van
sandy@prpacific.com
800-880-2397
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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