Cardiovascular Stem Cells

Regenerative medicine and stem cell research have tremendous potential to revolutionize the treatment of cardiac disease. Research being conducted by members of the BSCRC may lead to discoveries that will reverse or repair heart muscle damage and offer clinical alternatives for the millions of Americans who are born with or develop heart disease.

For example, the heart has a limited ability to regenerate damaged tissue after a heart attack. Current drug therapies slow the progression of heart failure but are not curative and heart transplants can only be offered to a very limited number of patients. BSCRC faculty have focused their research on identifying cardiac stem cells and understanding the processes by which they turn into heart cells with the hopes of developing cell replacement therapies for regenerating heart muscle and lessening the need for transplantation.

Cardiac stem cells have the potential to differentiate into all the cells that make up the heart, including heart muscle cells, smooth muscle cells and endothelial cells. Additionally, our faculty have demonstrated that cardiac stem cells can be developed from iPSC, which we hope will allow an unlimited supply of personalized cardiac stem cells to be produced for each patient.