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NIH to Hold Symposium on Cardiovascular Regenerative Medicine

For Immediate Release:
September 27, 2007, 9:00 AM EDT

Stem cell therapies to repair or regenerate tissue or blood vessels could provide a revolutionary approach to helping patients with cardiovascular disease, including the almost 16 million Americans who live with damaged heart muscle or blood vessels due to a heart attack, chest pain, or blocked arteries. To accelerate the advancement of stem cell biology from bench to bedside for treatment of cardiovascular disease, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will host the scientific symposium Cardiovascular Regenerative Medicine, October 1 - 2 at the NIH Natcher Conference Center in Bethesda, Maryland. 

researchers and clinical cardiovascular experts from the United States, as well as Australia, Belgium, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, and the United Kingdom will discuss the emerging science, animal models, and clinical applications of stem cell therapies for cardiovascular disease. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health are jointly sponsoring the two-day event. There is no cost to attend, but pre-registration is required as limited seating will be available.

The goal of the symposium is to stimulate discussion about tissue specification in stem cell biology and cardiovascular development, and to identify areas of opportunity for applying regenerative therapies to cardiovascular disease. Recent discoveries on the mechanisms of action of various types of stem cells, findings from animal models and cell-based clinical trials, and other issues critical to bridging the gap between knowledge and clinical applications will also be addressed.


NHLBI Director Elizabeth Nabel, M.D., and organizing committee chair Manfred Boehm, M.D., Principal Investigator within the Cardiology Branch of NHLBI's Division of Intramural Research, will provide opening remarks. Sessions will cover lessons learned from hematopoiesis, specification and use of embryonic stem cells and adult stem cells, including those derived from bone marrow (hematopoietic, endothelial progenitor cells, and mesenchymal stem cells) and adult cardiac stem cells that naturally reside in the heart; growth factors to stimulate formation of new blood vessels (vascular regeneration) and to repair or regenerate cardiac tissue (cardiac regeneration); and technologies for monitoring cell activity.

Moderators include David Scadden, M.D., of Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital; Cynthia Dunbar, M.D., of NHLBI's Division of Intramural Research; Kenneth Chien, M.D., Ph.D., of Harvard Medical School; Natalie DeWitt, Ph.D., of Nature; Stefanie Dimmeler, Ph.D., of University of Frankfurt; Jonathan Epstein, M.D., of University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine; Cecilia Lo, Ph.D., of NHLBI's Division of Intramural Research; Manfred Boehm MD NHLBI's Division of Intramural Research; Joshua Hare, M.D., of Miller School of Medicine – University of Miami; Philippe Menasché , M.D., Ph.D., Hôpital Européen Georges Pompidou; Catherine Verfaillie, M.D., Katholieke Universiteit Leuven; Michael Schneider, M.D., of Imperial College London; Loren Field, Ph.D., of Indiana University; and Robert Balaban, Ph.D., of NHLBI's Division of Intramural Research.

Media representatives who would like more information, copies of abstracts, or to register for the event, should contact the NHLBI Communications Office at (301) 496-4236 or




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