Some of the world's most innovative cardiovascular stem cell researchers came to the NIH on October 14 and 15 to review how far the field has come and consider future directions. As the host of the third Symposium on Cardiovascular Regenerative Medicine, the NHLBI welcomed these top stem cell researchers from the United States and abroad to discuss the state of the science.
Stem cell research is among the NHLBI’s top science priorities, and on October 15, I had the pleasure of introducing several representatives of the newly funded Progenitor Cell Biology Consortium. The consortium consists of 18 teams of research scientists working to develop the high-potential field of stem and progenitor cell tools and therapies. Each of the invited consortium speakers offered insights into their ongoing and planned efforts. Kenneth R. Chien, M.D., Ph.D., a principal investigator with the consortium from Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard University, highlighted the potential for induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) to be used for modeling diseases, such as Down syndrome. IPSCs are artificially derived human stem cells that can give rise to any fetal or adult cell type.
We have made great strides in basic stem cell research, but we must continue to move promising laboratory discoveries into treatments that will one day help patients. We hope the speakers and panel discussions helped re-energize the 500-plus symposium participants to return to their respective institutions and continue pushing the boundaries of stem cell research.
The NHLBI thanks the sponsors of the symposium for their support in making this event a success: BioSpherix, Ltd., the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health, and Pfizer. I would also like to thank the NHLBI’s Manfred Boehm, M.D., and the other institute staff involved in organizing this symposium.
|Kenneth R. Chien, M.D., Ph.D., of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard University, discusses the potential for induced pluripotent stem cells to help repair the heart during the Symposium on Regenerative Cardiovascular Medicine held October 14 and 15. Chien is a member of the NHLBI’s newly funded Progenitor Cell Biology Consortium. (NIH Photo/Medical Arts)|