VistaGen Therapeutics just announced that it has entered into a strategic research collaboration with Duke University, one of the country's premier academic research institutions, to combine their complementary expertise at the forefront of cardiac stem cell technology, electrophysiology, and tissue engineering.
The research will be led at Duke, by Dr. Nenad Bursac, Associate Professor in the Departments of Cardiology and Biomedical Engineering, and at VistaGen, by Dr. Ralph Snodgrass, President and Chief Scientific Officer. The initial goal of the collaboration is to explore potential development of novel, engineered, stem cell-derived cardiac tissues to expand the scope of VistaGen's drug rescue capabilities focused on heart toxicity.
"We are pleased to be collaborating with Dr. Bursac and his team at Duke," stated Dr. Snodgrass. "Our human stem cell-derived heart cells combined with Dr. Bursac's cutting-edge technology relating to cardiac electrophysiology and cardiac tissue engineering will permit us to use micro-patterned cardiac tissue to significantly expand the approaches we use in our Drug Rescue Programs to quantify drug effects on functional human cardiac tissue - in effect, synthetic human heart muscle."
Dr. Bursac is a leader in the field of cardiac tissue engineering and cell-based therapies in which different cells, either alone or in combination with therapeutic molecules or biomaterials, can be transplanted into the human body to restore function of damaged or diseased organs. Dr. Bursac's research has additional applications in the fields of cardiac electrophysiology, in vitro drug screening, and the generation of novel bioengineered model systems for studies of heart development, function, and disease.
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