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Published:  January 27, 2012

World-Renowned Cell-Therapy Researcher, Doris Taylor, PhD, Joins Texas Heart Institute at St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital

The Texas Heart Institute (THI) at St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital (St. Luke’s) announced today that Doris Taylor, PhD, FAHA, FACC, one of the world’s leading cell therapy and cardiac regeneration scientists, will join THI on March 1.

Dr. Taylor’s research includes cell and gene therapy for treatment of cardiovascular disease; tissue engineering of bioartificial organs and vasculature; cell-based prevention of disease; stem cells and cancer; and holistic approaches to using cell therapy for treating chronic disease.

Recently, Dr. Taylor and her team garnered international recognition for work involving “whole organ decellularization” by showing the ability to remove existing cells from hearts of laboratory animals and even humans leaving a framework to build new organs. The team re-populated the framework with other adult stem cells then provided a blood supply, and the heart regenerated with the characteristics and functions of a revitalized beating heart.

The hope is that this research is an early step toward being able to grow a fully functional human heart in the laboratory. Dr. Taylor has demonstrated that the process works for other organs as well while opening a door in the field of organ transplantation. A significant development as the need for transplants continues to grow, while the supply of donor organs remains critically low.

“Dr. Taylor is certainly one of the stars in the adult human stem cell field, and we feel extremely fortunate to have her join our team,” said Dr. James T. Willerson, THI’s President and Medical Director. “Her work fits very well with our mission and goals, and she certainly helps to solidify THI as a leader in cell therapy, which is one of the most promising hopes for treating cardiovascular disease.”

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