Tuesday, October 15, 2013

CIRM grantees discuss heart failure research at Stem Cell Meeting on the Mesa

Several of CIRM's grantees are located down on the Mesa that's the namesake of the Stem Cell Meeting on the Mesa (in La Jolla, near San Diego). Among those is Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, which has several scientists talking about their CIRM-funded work as part of the meeting. Sanford-Burnham wrote in their blog about a presentation by Mark Mercola, who is working on finding therapies for heart disease:
In the scientific symposium session titled “A Chemical Approach to Regenerative Medicine,” Mark Mercola, Ph.D., professor and director of the Muscle Development and Regeneration Program at Sanford-Burnham, will present the results of a study performed to discover drug targets and RNA therapeutics for heart failure.

The study shows how a high-throughput chemical and functional-genomics screening strategy using iPSC-derived cardiac myocytes—heart muscle cells—identified a number of molecules that modulate cell differentiation and contractility. By inhibiting one of these molecules with antisense RNA, the scientists were able to halt the progression of heart failure and restore cardiac functions in mouse models of heart failure.

“There is an urgent need for therapies that reverse the course of ventricular dysfunction in heart failure, the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States. Using the Prebys Center’s ultra-high-throughput screening technology, our efforts to discover a drug that rescues heart-muscle activity have been productive,” said Mercola.
For more about his work, here's a video we shot with Dr. Mercola:

Amy Adams

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