Stem cells and heart repair

30 January 2012

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Category: Communications & media

heart.jpgContinuing our video series on the patient benefits of animal research, a patient interviews a scientist on how stem cells, based on animal research, may be used to repair hearts. Professor Michael Schneider of Imperial College tells Alan Keys about stem cell research and how it may lead to treatments for heart disease. Michael describes how the availability of stem cells - arising from reserach using mice, rats and zebrafish - allows his team to determine the molecules involved in heart cell death and also how to protect those cells from death during a heart attack.

Michael foresees a near future where stem cells are combined with other therapies to both repair hearts and enable hearts to self-repair. Alan Keys had his own heart repaired during an operation some years ago and currently chairs a British Heart Foundation patients committee. The British Heart Foundation part-fund the work of Michael's team at Imperial College.

This is a fast moving field of research with many international collaborations. A Japanese team published related research just last month.