NIH Funding to Propel UT Southwestern Research Into Human Heart Regeneration; Recent Study with German Collaborators Showed Safety and Promise of Hypoxia for Heart Failure Patients; Level of Improvement Seen “Unheard Of”

Ongoing research at the University of Texas Southwestern (UTSW) Medical Center exploring the ability of human heart cells to regenerate after a heart attack or other cardiovascular event will be accelerated by a new award from the National Institutes of Health. The five-year, $10.7 million program project grant will fund studies to investigate how the immune system regulates the heart’s ability to regenerate and respond to injury. The project builds upon more than a decade of research at UTSW into heart regeneration led by Hesham Sadek, MD, PhD, Professor of Internal Medicine, Biophysics, and Molecular Biology at UTSW, that has resulted in a number of discoveries. Most recently, Dr. Sadek’s preclinical research was validated by a proof-of-concept human study led by German scientists showing that low-oxygen conditions can trigger the heart to repair itself and regain lost function after a heart attack. The findings, published in Circulation Research, could usher in a “new era in cardiovascular medicine,” said Dr. Sadek, who led the precursor studies in mice. The article is titled “Hypoxia and Cardiac Function in Patients with Prior Myocardial Infarction.

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