Doris A. Taylor | When Cell Therapy Isn’t Enough

In her talk “When Cell Therapy Isn’t Enough: Building Cardiovascular Solutions in 2016,” Doris A. Taylor discusses improvements to stem-cell therapies and the development of better treatments for heart disease, including building bio-artificial organs for transplant that use a patient’s own stem cells, thus avoiding the complications of organ rejection. Recommend on FacebookTell a friend

Stem Cell Research on Global Stage in Texas

WSCS Public Education Day* 2

Texans for Stem Cell Research (TSCR), proudly announces its participation in the World Stem Cell Summit, 2014 in San Antonio November 25th, 2014 | Texans for Stem Cell Research (TSCR), proudly announces its participation in the World Stem Cell Summit, 2014 in San Antonio, Texas, December 2-5th, 2014. TSCR will co- host a Welcoming Party for the Genetics Policy Institute, the organizer of the Summit, along with the City of San Antonio and the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation. This event will be held at the San Antonio Convention Center LDR Room, 200 E. Market St. The event will be from 7:30-10:30 pm on December 2, 2014. Featured speakers include Dr. Doris Taylor of the…

Who has the softer heart?

February 9, 2014, 7:00 PM|What 60 Minutes’ Lesley Stahl learned while reporting on the surprising medical differences between males and females Watch 60 Minutes Overtime Recommend on FacebookTell a friend

Stem Cell Universe with Stephen Hawking

Led by Stephen Hawking, this special delves into the subject of stem cells to explore what these mechanisms are capable of. Topics such as regenerating body parts, the fountain of youth, and stem cells harvested from our own bodies are investigated.   Available Here for Purchase Recommend on FacebookTell a friend

Estrogen promotes blood-forming stem cell function


Scientists have known for years that stem cells in male and female sexual organs are regulated differently by their respective hormones. In a surprising discovery, researchers at the Children’s Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern (CRI) and Baylor College of Medicine have found that stem cells in the blood-forming system — which is similar in both sexes — also are regulated differently by hormones, with estrogen proving to be an especially prolific promoter of stem cell self-renewal. The research, published in Nature, raises several intriguing possibilities for further investigation that might lead to improved treatments for blood cancers and increased safety and effectiveness of chemotherapy. Before the finding, blood-forming stem cells were thought to…

Does Turkey Make You Sleepy?


Thanksgiving feasters take heart. Contrary to popular belief, turkey’s tryptophan dose doesn’t cause drowsiness. In fact, the substance could possibly aid in the treatment of depression and multiple sclerosis. Purified tryptophan is a mild sleep-inducing agent. That probably spawned the idea that turkey and other foods heavy in tryptophan cause drowsiness. But tryptophan can’t get to the human brain in large amounts when ingested as part of a massive Thanksgiving feast—it needs an empty stomach. “Tryptophan is taken to the brain by an active transport system shared by a number of other amino acids [the chief components of proteins], and there’s competition among them—like a crowd of people trying to get through a revolving door,”…

City of San Antonio invests in stem-cell tech startup

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The city of San Antonio will invest $200,000 in a biotech startup founded to develop new advances in stem-cell technology. City Council voted Thursday to invest in StemBioSys, Inc. through a grant to the San Antonio Economic Development Corporation. The money will be used for stem-cell research, development and manufacturing. StemBioSys, founded in 2010, holds two patents and has three others pending. The company has four employees and will hire at least two more in the next year. The company was formed by Dr. Xiao-Dong Chen, a professor at University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, and Dr. Steven Davis, a San Antonio dermatologist, using licensed stem-cell technology Chen created at the university….

Study Sheds Light on How Heart Heals Itself


Research with mice may someday help people recovering from heart attacks, scientists say New insight into the heart’s ability to repair itself could help scientists develop ways to improve recovery after a heart attack, a new study of mice suggests. Researchers found that a signaling pathway — called the Hippo pathway — normally blocks heart repair in adult mice. When certain signals were removed, the animals’ hearts were able to regenerate after being damaged. This was because specialized heart cells called “cardiomyocytes” were able to multiply much better after the signals were removed, an ability that is normally lost in damaged hearts, according to the researchers from the Baylor College of Medicine and the Texas…

Recreating a beating human heart: Daria O Brian’s Science Club

BBC Daria

Daria O Brian’s Science Club Adventures in Time Not currently available on BBC iPlayer Series 2 Episode 2 of 6 Dara O Briain and the team go on a journey through time to discover what it is and how to get more of it.   Watch Video       Recommend on FacebookTell a friend

Gov. Perry Announces $3 Million Grant to Create Center for Cell and Organ Biotechnology

HOUSTON – Gov. Rick Perry today announced a $3 million investment through the Texas Emerging Technology Fund (TETF) to create the Center for Cell and Organ Biotechnology in collaboration with the Texas Heart Institute (THI) and Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences. “This center represents another step toward making Texas the forefront of biotechnology for generations to come,” Gov. Perry said. “The investment is all a part of the culture of creation we’ve nurtured in Texas, built upon the concept that if you give bright and visionary people the freedom to innovate and pursue their dreams, good things will happen. I could not be prouder that this life-affirming research will be…

Research Could Revolutionize Heart Attack Treatment

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It’s a pioneering procedure. Doctors at Austin’s Heart Hospital are taking a patient’s own stem cells from bone marrow a few days after a heart attack and injecting those stem cells back into formerly blocked arteries. Dr. Roger Gammon is an Interventional Cardiologist who leads the research team at the hospital. He says, “We think those stem cells in particular are most able to recover heart muscle and grow new blood vessels in an area which could save that heart muscle.” This trial could be a critical next step in fighting the nation’s number one killer. Medication and surgery to open blocked arteries have dramatically improved survival rates for people with heart disease. But once…

Hospitals Seeing Success in Organ Creation


Texas Heart Institute One of Many Hospitals Seeing Success in Organ Creation On average, 18 people die each day awaiting an organ donation — one person is added to the waiting list for organ transplants every ten minutes.   Although nearly 80 people receive an organ transplant per day according to, the gap between donations made and those awaiting organs is devastating for those on the waiting list. There is good news on the horizon for the 100,000-plus people awaiting a transplant, however. Researchers in Texas and across the globe are working on a way to create organs from the patient’s own body. While 3D printed versions of large organs such as kidneys are…

THI Among Heart Centers Selected in U.S.

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Doctors at the Texas Heart Institute (THI) at St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital (SLEH) announced that they have performed an investigational procedure on six patients in a new FDA-approved clinical trial to evaluate therapy that uses regenerative cells derived from a patient’s own adipose (body fat) tissue to treat a severe form of heart failure. The trial, known as ATHENA, marks the first such study in the United States using adipose-derived regenerative cells, known as ADRCs, which are harvested using a technology developed by Cytori Therapeutics, a biotechnology company that specializes in cell therapies. Previous studies in Europe have shown the safety and feasibility of the therapy. “We have found that body fat tissue is a…

Business As Usual at Texas Heart…

Dr. Denton Cooley, founder of the Texas Heart Institute at St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital, told HBJ last year he hopes the country’s first hospital dedicated solely to the treatment of heart and vascular disease will be constructed at the center one day. (Source: Houston Business Journal)

Texas Heart Institute not concerned about changes at St. Luke’s A spokesman for Texas Heart Institute said the center does not have any ongoing research that would be in direct conflict with the faith-based medical care of Denver-based Catholic Health Initiatives. The St. Luke’s Episcopal Health System said April 19 it decided to sell to CHI, the nation’s second-largest faith-based health system. Shortly after, concerns arose about whether the Catholic provider would eliminate any procedures currently offered at St. Luke’s. The Texas Heart Institute is affiliated with but not owned or governed by St. Luke’s, though it is housed within St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital in the Texas Medical Center. CHI issued a statement April 26…

Texas Meeting on Alzheimer’s, Brain Injury & Stroke

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Latest advances in treatment for Alzheimer’s,traumatic brain injury and stroke to be presented at symposium AUSTIN, Texas – (April 24, 2012) Some of the country’s leading practitioners will discuss the cutting-edge treatments and imaging techniques being developed to treat Alzheimer’s, traumatic brain injury and stroke at a symposium on May 1 in Austin. “Collaborating for Cures: Research, Rehabilitation & Treatment for Alzheimer’s, Brain Injury & Stroke” will feature presentations on The Promise of Stem Cells; Current treatment of closed head injury, Disorders of consciousness, Imaging in dementia, Drug screening for degeneration, Pain syndrome after stoke, Emerging therapeutics in ischemic stroke and Neurorecovery vs neurorehabilitation as well as provide a forum for leading scientists in the…

Roadblocks & patient-specific iPSCs for clinical applications


Reprogramming Adult Cells to Stem Cells Works Better with One Gene Turned Off The removal of a genetic roadblock could improve the efficiency of converting adult cells into stem cells by 10 to 30 times, report scientists from The Methodist Hospital Research Institute and two other institutions in the latest issue of Cell. “The discovery six years ago that scientists can convert adult cells into inducible pluripotent stem cells, or iPSCs, bolstered the dream that a patient’s own cells might be reprogrammed to make patient-specific iPSCs for regenerative medicine, modeling human diseases in petri dishes, and drug screening,” said Rongfu Wang, Ph.D., Principal Investigator and Director of the Center for Inflammation and Epigenetics. “But reprogramming…

Texas biotech to develop platform to grow stem cells faster


A University of Texas spinoff company has pulled in $2 million to test a new technique for culturing non-embryonic stem cells. According to a regulatory filing, StemBioSys raised at least $2 million of a $3.5 million equity offering. A company representative was not available to elaborate, but CEO Dr. Steven Davis told the San Antonio Business Journal last year when the company began raising the round that it would fund research projects to validate the quality of the stem cells generated by the company’s technology. StemBioSys is developing XC-marrow ECM, a propriety three-dimensional culture for growing mesenchymal stem cells from bone marrow, adipose tissue and umbilical cord blood. These immature cells have multiple potential uses…

Stem cells in Texas: Cowboy culture

(Credit Nature OLIVER MUNDAY)

By offering unproven therapies, a Texas biotechnology firm has sparked a bitter debate about how stem cells should be regulated. David Cyranoski 13 February 2013 Ann McFarlane is losing faith. In the first half of 2012, the Houston resident received four infusions of adult stem cells grown from her own fat. McFarlane has multiple sclerosis (MS), and had heard that others with the inflammatory disease had experienced improvements in mobility and balance after treatment. The infusions — which have cost her about US$32,000 so far — didn’t help, but she knew that there were no guarantees. It is McFarlane’s experience with Celltex Therapeutics, the company that administered the cells, that bothers her. She was told…

Saving lives with help from pigs and cells

Ghost Heart

Doris Taylor and her team are building new organs, hoping to reverse disease, maybe even the aging process By Maggie Galehouse | January 23, 2013 It sounds like science fiction, but it is isn’t. On the ninth floor of the Texas Heart Institute’s Denton Cooley building, Doris Taylor and her team are building human hearts, with help from pigs and stem cells. “We think a pig heart is a perfect scaffold for a human heart, based on its structure and size,” says Taylor, a passionate scientist with a Ph.D. in pharmacology. One recent morning, a pig heart hung suspended in a clear homemade tank in the lab built for Taylor and her team. Filled with…

Texas Heart Selected to Store Cells Used in Nationwide Research

Biorepository Core Lab

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. Read Full Story Recommend on FacebookTell a friend