Texas Heart Institute Selected to Store Cells Used in Nationwide Research
COLD STORAGE — Charles Wellington, a senior research coordinator at Texas Heart Institute at St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital, checks the liquid nitrogen cryo-storage facility that houses adult stem cells used in cardiac disease research. (Photo by Ken Hoge)
After a nationwide competition, Texas Heart Institute at St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital has been chosen as the Biorepository Core Lab for the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute’s network of cardiac stem cell research centers.
The seven centers, collectively known as the Cardiovascular Cell Therapy Research Network, are home to a network of physicians, scientists and support staff who work together to study stem-cell therapy for treating heart disease. The goals of the network are to complete research studies that will potentially lead to more effective treatments for patients with cardiovascular disease, and to share knowledge quickly with the health care community.
“As the network’s Biorepository Core Lab, Texas Heart institute will store, catalog and make adult stem cells available for approved research projects throughout the nation,” said James Willerson, M.D., Texas Heart Institute’s president and medical director and a principal investigator in the heart institute’s stem-cell research programs. The stem cells stored in the lab will be collected from patients participating in Cardiovascular Cell Therapy Research Network clinical trials.
In addition to the Texas Heart Institute, network members include the University of Louisville, the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation, the University of Florida in Gainesville, the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Stanford University, and the Vascular and Cardiac Center for Adult Stem Cell Therapy in Indianapolis.
The network’s data coordinating center is located at The University of Texas School of Public Health’s Coordinating Center for Clinical Trials in the Texas Medical Center.
The Biorepository Research Lab is under the direction of Doris Taylor, Ph.D., director of Texas Heart Institute’s regenerative medicine research, and Adrian Gee, Ph.D., director of the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy at Baylor College of Medicine.