Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. Dr. Charles Murry and his team at UW Medicine are committed to changing this within 10 years.
Murry is the co-director of the Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine (ISCRM). ISCRM’s Heart Regeneration Program develops stem cell therapies for heart disease, focusing on regenerating heart tissue in patients at risk of congestive heart failure following a heart attack. The tissue damage caused by heart attacks is usually permanent and greatly increases a patient’s risk of future problems.
The Heart Regeneration Program has repaired hearts in animal models by implanting healthy cardiac muscle cells into the damaged heart.
In October 2015, WRF pledged $10 million to Dr. Murry and his colleagues to develop a method of growing healthy cardiac muscle that can be implanted into patients soon after they suffer a heart attack. The hope is to begin testing this novel heart regeneration method in clinical trials by the end of the five-year grant.