The incidence of heart disease is on the rise, and new therapeutic strategies are needed. Approaches based on stem cells, which can potentially preserve or even regenerate heart muscle cells damaged by ischemia - a hallmark of heart disease - are especially promising. Now, thanks to an $11.6-Million Program Project Grant (PPG) from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) under award number P01HL134608, scientists at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University (LKSOM) are poised to explore new possibilities in stem-cell-based treatments for heart repair and regeneration. According to a release dated September 13, 2017, the project is aimed specifically at better understanding the regenerative capabilities of stem-cell-derived microvesicles known as exosomes. The Principal Investigator on the new award is Raj Kishore, PhD, Professor of Pharmacology and Medicine and Director of the Stem Cell Therapy Program in the Center for Translational Medicine at LKSOM. According to Dr. Kishore, exosomes offer an exciting opportunity to develop a cell-free approach to stem cell-based therapy for heart disease. "Previous attempts at stem cell therapy for heart disease did not work as hoped," Dr. Kishore said.
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