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Stem cell technologies: Charting a new course towards a cure for heart disease

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​​​​Image of Dr. Michael Laflamme
Recently-recruited research-scientist, Dr. Michael Laflamme is working with multi-disciplinary medical teams from the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre and the McEwen Centre for Regenerative Medicine to unravel the secrets found in stem cell medicine specifically to repair and restore damaged hearts. (Photo: Stefan Superina)

The untapped potential of stem cell-based therapies to repair or regenerate damaged cardiovascular cells is increasingly an area of focus for the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre (PMCC) and the McEwen Centre for Regenerative Medicine.

"The ability of stem cells to become any cell type in the body means that they have the potential to be used to treat, and perhaps cure, devastating and costly illnesses such as heart disease," says Dr. Michael Laflamme, newly-recruited research scientist with a lab headquartered at MARs, alongside Dr. Gordon Keller, an international leader in both the growth and application of embryonic stem cells.

"Unlike most organs in our body, the heart is very poor at repairing itself after sustaining injury. What if scientists could use a special kind of stem cell to produce new heart muscle and inject those new cells into a patient's heart as a fix," adds Dr. Laflamme, who is also the Robert R. McEwen Chair in Cardiac Regenerative Medicine in the McEwen Centre for Regenerative Medicine at UHN.

Read the full story about Dr. Laflamme's work, including the role PMCC cardiologists, cardiac and vascular surgeons are playing in what is widely viewed as the key to a future involving personalized medicine.

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