The National Institutes of Health has awarded a prestigious Program Project Grant totaling more than $8.5 million over five-years to San Diego State University to better understand how the heart heals and ways stem cells can help the heart repair itself.
"Regenerative medicine using stem cells has changed the way researchers and clinicians are thinking about and trying to treat heart failure," said Mark Sussman, Ph.D., a distinguished professor of biology at SDSU.
"We now know that the damaged heart attempts to repair itself following injury, but the ability to heal is limited by many factors. Our research program centers on understanding and clearing away these limitations to restore cardiac function and quality of life to patients suffering from the devastating effects of heart failure, which is the No. 1 cause of hospitalization for the elderly."
As the grant's lead principal investigator, Sussman, who is the chief research scientist of the SDSU Integrated Regenerative Research Institute, will work primarily on understanding how to modify stem cells and the heart to increase regenerative potential.
The research team will use cells that have been isolated from heart failure patients the very people who would benefit directly from advances in this critical research.
Building on the success of more than a decade of research on this topic at SDSU, the goal of the program is to develop new therapeutic strategies using stem cell-based treatment to regenerate the heart. Advancing these strategies is critical as current alternatives are costly and include painful transplant surgery for severe heart failure patients.
Stem cell research
According to Sussman, stem cell research today is as important as the first heart transplant he points out that the advancements made in stem cell research, like transplants, will change the way medicine is practiced.
In the lab's first five-year Pr
|Contact: Natalia Elko|
San Diego State University