Best of 2021 Stories

Texas Heart Institute and Rice University’s Baker Institute Continue Series 

Honoring Our Mentors & Champions

"Our policy series collaborator, Dr. Kirstin Matthews, recognized our mentor and former THI President Emeritus, Dr. James T. Willerson, whose unwavering advocacy and commitment to responsible stem cell research inspired this important series that continues today in his honor," said Keri Sprung, MBA, Vice President for Communications & Education and stem cell policy series collaborator.

Texas Heart Institute Partners with Rice University’s Baker Institute for Fifth Annual Stem Cell Policy Panel Session as Part of Ongoing Lecture Series 

The Texas Heart Institute has aligned its thought leadership in cardiology research with the internationally renowned Baker Institute for Public Policy at Rice University for an insightful and thought-provoking panel session. Dating back to 2016, the policy lecture series has covered various topics related to the intersection of stem cell research and public policy. This year’s session focused on the importance of clinical trials, new data on uses of cell-based therapies to treat heart disease, and the risks associated with unproven stem cell treatments.

During the course of the virtual webinar, THI Medical Director Emerson C. Perin, MD, PhD, and Mayo Clinic Associate Professor of Biomedical Ethics Zubin Master, PhD, assessed the landscape for stem cell therapies and collectively reflected on how unproven stem cell treatments can negatively affect patient health, clinical research, and the perceptions of policymakers—ultimately slowing the development of future cell-based therapies.

The annual stem cell policy lecture series is co-sponsored by the Baker Institute’s Center for Health and Biosciences and THI. Support for the program has been provided by a grant from the George and Mary Josephine Hamman Foundation. To date, the series has held five events and produced two research papers. In 2019, the event Texas’ Stem Cell Future: Accessing Outcome Data from Experimental Interventions was held at the Texas State Capitol in Austin.

A video recording of the May 2021 panel session can be accessed HERE. All Past Events HERE.

Read the related article in the Texas Heart Institute Journal.

Pictured: Keri Sprung and Dr. James T. Willerson 2018 Stem Cell Policy Event at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy

Feature Photo Credit: Michael Stravato for Rice University’s Baker Institute

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