Poss receives AHA award to study how heart cells regenerate

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Kenneth Poss, PhD, James B. Duke Professor of Cell Biology, medicine and biology and affiliated faculty in the Duke Cardiovascular Research Center, has received a $1 million merit award from the American Heart Association.

The Merit Awards support scientists who propose novel approaches to major research challenges in cardiovascular disease and stroke that have the potential to produce an unusually high impact. The proposed research must reflect substantially different ideas from those already being pursued, according to the AHA.

Dr. Poss will study how heart cells regenerate.

“Humans do not regenerate significant amounts of heart muscle lost after an injury like a heart attack,” Poss said. “The goal of our research is to contribute to developing therapies for cardiovascular disease that will improve our own ability to regenerate new, healthy heart muscle.”

They’ll do that by “digging deeper than ever” into the mechanisms by which heart regeneration occurs successfully in animals such as zebrafish, and then apply those strategies to people.

“The potential impact is huge for millions of heart attack survivors. Regenerative medicine for the heart can lead to better heart function, lowered risk of complications and reoccurrence, and improved quality of life,” Poss said.

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