Prioritizing the patient
When it comes to treating heart disease, the best approach is collaborative and individualized. Recognizing this, Heart Institute Director Eduardo Marbán, MD, leads a team of cardiac experts—cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, imaging specialists, and researchers—dedicated to providing the best possible heart care for each patient. As part of the Institute, the Barbra Streisand Women’s Heart Center applies this signature approach to women, focusing on the differences between men's and women's hearts.
Stem cell science: the future is now
Marbán is leading the first program in the United States focused on cardiac regeneration in humans. “The heart undergoes a slow, constant process of cell repair and replacement,” explains Dr. Marbán. “Over a person’s lifetime, cardiac stem cells might replace any given heart cell two or three times. The key is to harness those cells to heal catastrophic injury.”
In 2009, Dr. Marbán received a grant from the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine to do just that. Under his direction, scientists and clinicians at the Cedars-Sinai Board of Governors Heart Stem Cell Center are exploring the use of stem cells to repair tissue damaged by a heart attack in a groundbreaking Phase I clinical trial. The ultimate goal: to one day return damaged hearts to normal without the need for transplants.
Someday, stem cells may also be instrumental in reversing gene mutations that contribute to cardiac disorders such as arrhythmia and valve problems. Groundbreaking research in the Barbra Streisand Women’s Heart Center is showing that female stem cells may hold particular promise in this area. Unlocking the regenerative power of the female physiology may yield breakthroughs that benefit both women and men.
Leading the way
Ranked as one of the top two heart and heart surgery programs on the West Coast by U.S. News & World Report, the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute is redefining the way human hearts are restored to health. This work is made possible by the generous support of individuals and organizations.