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Gladstone scientist receives American Heart Association's Katz prize for cardiovascular research
Date:11/17/2011

SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- Li Qian, PhD, has won the Louis N. and Arnold M. Katz Basic Science Research Prize for Young Investigators from the American Heart Association (AHA), marking the first time in the prestigious award's history that a Gladstone Institutes researcher has been the recipient.

Dr. Qian is a postdoctoral fellow at Gladstone -- a leading and independent biomedical-research organization -- and a California Institute of Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) scholar in the laboratory of Deepak Srivastava, MD.

Announced last night at the AHA's Scientific Sessions conference in Orlando, Fla., the Katz award encourages new cardiovascular investigators to continue research careers in basic scienceand is among the association's top honors. Basic science is different from applied science, in that it focuses on advancing our fundamental understanding of biology, but in this case is clearly focused on helping humans with heart disease.

Dr. Qian received the prize for her findings that non-muscle cells that normally form the architectural support for the heart can be reprogrammed into beating heart muscle cells. This reprogramming may allow scientists to transform non-beating scar tissue resulting from heart disease -- and which was previously considered irreparable -- into beating tissue again.

"I am very proud of Dr. Qian -- and the unique environment that we have been able to develop at Gladstone to promote such discoveries," said Dr. Srivastava, who directs cardiovascular and stem cell research at Gladstone. "Five million Americans suffer from heart failure, and Dr. Qian's research will contribute to our goal of one day using cell reprogramming to regenerate muscle cells -- replacing cells damaged by heart disease. Combined with Dr. Mahley's AHA award, this is an impressive week for heart research at Gladstone."

Earlier in the day, the AHA presented Gladstone Institutes Senior Investigator and President Emeritus Robe
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Contact: Anne Holden
anne.holden@gladstone.ucsf.edu
415-734-2534
Gladstone Institutes
Source:Eurekalert

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