Medical College of Wisconsin Receives Grant to Develop Stem Cells for Treatment of Heart Complications
The Medical College of Wisconsin has received a two-year, $416,625 grant from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to develop stem cell-based therapies to treat portions of the heart that have died from a heart attack. The research may lead to development of new ways to treat tissue damaged by heart attack that are less invasive and better tolerated by patients. The stem cells are derived from federally-approved stem cell lines.
Ming Zhao, Ph.D., assistant professor of biophysics, is principal investigator for the grant.
Dr. Zhao will develop stem cells to specifically recognize and bind to tissues damaged by heart attack. The stem cells are expected to replace and regenerate the damaged tissue. Cardiac repair by stem cell implantation has shown promise as a post-heart attack therapy, but the use of stem cells to treat tissue damaged by heart attack is currently uncommon because of a low retention rate of stem cells to damaged sites. The goal of this study is to make stem cells capable of recognizing and binding to damaged tissues.