Self-healing Heart

Thursday 24th September 2009 @ 19:00

Non-Member: £12.00 ; Staff: £5.00 ; Student: £3.00

Professor Michael Schneider, Head of the National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College

Winning one of the Medical Futures Awards (dubbed the ‘Dragon's Den' of medical awards for its style of selection) Michael Schneider is seeking a commercial solution which will harness the body's own mechanisms to repair damaged hearts.

As the result of a heart attack, up to 50% of the cells that make up the heart muscle can be wiped out suddenly due to lack of blood flow and oxygen starvation. The heart can also suffer cumulative damage as a result of heart disease over a period of time. Michael's team is focussing on regenerating heart muscle cells , either by using stem cells or the very rare progenitor cells his group discovered in the adult heart. Such progenitor cells are specially poised to develop into heart muscle cells and by harnessing their power to regenerate tissue it is hoped to develop a new treatment for patients with heart disease.

Professor Schneider joined Imperial College in September 2007 as the incoming Head of Cardiovascular Science for the National Heart and Lung Institute, and was appointed Head of NHLI at the beginning of 2009.

He was educated at Harvard, the University of Pennsylvania, and Duke, followed by research training at the NIH under Nobel Laureate Marshall Nirenberg. In 1984, he was appointed to the nascent program in cardiac molecular biology at Baylor College of Medicine, ultimately becoming Professor of Medicine, Molecular & Cellular Biology, and Molecular Physiology & Biophysics, Director of the Center for Cardiovascular Development, and inaugural recipient of the M D Anderson Foundation Chair. His trainees number more than 50, and have been recognized by young investigator competitions world-wide.

Professor Schneider is the British Heart Foundation Simon Marks Professor of Regenerative Cardiology and Director of Imperial's BHF Centre for Research Excellence. He is the recipient of a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award, an ERC Advanced Investigator Grant, andthe 2008 Medical Futures Cardiovascular Innovation Award. He currently serves as a member of the Medical Research? Council.

Venue: Sir Alexander Fleming Building G16