Myodcardial Infarction

Myodcardial infarctions (commonly known as heart attacks) occur when blood flow to the heart muscle is interrupted by coronary artery disease, leading to the death of heart muscle. The heart has minimal ability to regenerate, so the lost muscle is replaced by scar tissue, leaving the patient with reduced cardiac function. In many cases, this leads to heart failure, a form of heart disease in which the heart cannot meet the body’s demand for blood flow.

Disease Impact

Nearly 18 million people die each year from heart disease, making it the leading cause of death in the world. In the United States alone, the economic impact of heart disease exceeds $200 billion, a figure that is expected to rise dramatically. Patients with heart disease experience progressive, significant declines in quality of life marked by reduced activity and higher hospitalization rates. While lifestyle changes and medical treatments are available to slow the progression to end-stage heart failure, none have the ability to restore normal heart functioning.

Current Research

At the Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine (ISCRM), researchers in multiple labs are using stem cell technology to pioneer novel approaches to treating heart disease in ways that address the root causes, rather than manage, this chronic disease.

Improving Human Health

The heart disease research projects underway at ISCRM are rapidly expanding our understanding about the nature of the human heart and pointing the way to treatments that could soon help people all around the world live longer, healthier lives. In 2018, a study led by ISCRM Director Dr. Charles Murry demonstrated that stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes could be used to regenerate heart tissue in large primates, a major step toward human clinical trials, which are expected to begin as soon as 2020.

Faculty Researchers

Alessandro Bertero, PhD
Jennifer Davis, PhD
Cole DeForest, PhD
Deok-Ho Kim, PhD
Farid Moussavi-Harami, MD
Charles Murry, MD, PhD
Anna V. Naumova, PhD
Michael Regnier, PhD
Hannele Ruohola-Baker, PhD
Nathan Sniadecki, PhD

April Stempien-Otero, MD, FACC
Rong Tian, MD, PhD
Daniel Yang, MD
Ying Zheng, PhD