Current Projects

The Regenerative Medicine Research team is pursuing multiple avenues to treat the underlying culprit in heart disease – the injured heart itself.

Defining Mechanisms of Heart Failure

The team is working to define mechanisms that lead or contribute to the development of heart failure, in particular the differences in the development of heart failure with preserved ejection fraction vs. heart failure with reduced ejection fraction. This research includes RMR’s studies on understanding sex differences in cardiovascular diseases and in the potential regenerative medicine therapies that could treat them.

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Cell & Gene Therapies

RMR is utilizing both of its labs to develop new cell, gene, and tissue engineering therapies that could be used to treat, or even prevent, congenital heart disease, cardiomyopathy and ischemic heart disease. In particular, the team is focused on developing strategies to intervene early in disease progression, which will decrease the number of patients who suffer from heart failure and require transplant.

Engineering Bio-Artificial Organs & Tissues

The OR3 lab is home of the famed ghost heart, which leverages decelluarization and recellularization technologies.  The team continues to further refine tissue-engineering techniques to develop new biotechnologies and molecular tools – like building tissues and whole organs for transplant – with a number of translational studies currently underway. This research also includes novel treatments for pediatric heart disease, which build upon the team’s discoveries that simpler solutions are helping to pave the way to bio-engineered whole organs for in-human transplant.

Failure of Endogenous Repair & Aging

An increased life span is only worthwhile if the quality of life (health span) is also lengthened. The RMR team believes that aging is ultimately a failure of stem cells, and is focused on basic research studies that dissect endogenous repair processes to better understand how these change as people age. By understanding the mechanics of our body’s natural repair processes – and how these are impacted by heart disease and natural age progression – we can develop strategies that should allow people to live longer, healthier lives.

Biorepository & Sample Profiling Core Services

Texas Heart Institute provides biobanking and standardized patient sample processing, profiling and storage services to academic and independent research institutions within the U.S. and Canada through the Biorepository & Sample Profiling Core Laboratory (BPL). It is also home to the Cardiovascular Cell Therapy Research Network (CCTRN) and Cardiothoracic Surgical Trials Network’s (CTSN) Biorepository and Cell Profiling Core (BRC), which is funded by the NIH National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

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