Prof. Nadia Rosenthal, Head of EMBL-Monterotondo (near Rome, Italy), and international collaborators have been awarded a US$6 million grant for cardiovascular research. The scientists will investigate the ability of heart muscle to repair itself – after being damaged by a heart attack, for example – and to regain function.
Prof. Rosenthal has previously shown that when a muscle is injured, stem cells can help the tissue rebuild. This team of researchers will build on her findings and use the collective expertise of the group, to develop and study human cells with an enhanced potential for cardiac regeneration.
Along with Prof. Rosenthal, Italian researcher Giulio Cossu (San Raffaele Biomedical Park of Rome, Italy) brings extensive experience to the project. He recently discovered a multipotent cell (a cell which can give rise to a wide range of other types of cells) which has been successfully used in cell-based therapies. From Germany, scientists Stefanie Dimmeler and Andreas Zeiher (Goethe University, Frankfurt) have pioneered human trials with progenitor cells for cardiac repair. Progenitor cells can produce specialized cells to replace those that have died, and may be a key to determining how heart muscle repairs itself.
Trista Dawson | alfa
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