The goal of the HSCI Cardiovascular Disease Program is to develop new treatments for heart disease.
The heart has a very limited ability to regenerate on its own, so research in this program focuses on two main approaches:
- Reprogramming other types of cells to make new heart tissue.
- Making the heart's own cells divide so they can participate in repair.
"Although it has been postulated for over a decade that the heart has its own source of stem cells that can be used for repair, extensive data over the past five years indicate that there are no adult stem cells in the adult heart," says program leader Richard Lee.
"Reaching that fundamental conclusion now allows us to focus on using other sources of stem cells, or the heart's own mature cells
, to achieve heart regeneration."