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I'm Tim Nelson. I'm the director of the Todd and Karen Wanek family program for hypoplastic left heart research. This hypoplastic left heart research program here at Mayo Clinic comprises of nearly 60 people that work across the enterprise in multiple different areas of basic science all the way to clinical practice.
Our research program is dedicated to children with congenital heart disease with a condition specifically known as hypoplastic left heart. These children are born without a half of their heart and literally require three open heart surgeries to allow their heart to function and be compatible with life. Unfortunately, these hearts are not strong enough to live a normal sustain life span and the need for transplantation becomes real.
Our goal in our program is to invent and discover new regenerative stem cell-based therapies that allows us to rebuild these hearts make them bigger better and stronger with the goal of delaying or even preventing the need for cardiac transplantation down the road.
This multidisciplinary team works across the spectrum of research and discovery all the way to clinical applications. This multidisciplinary team is understanding the genetics, the natural history, and how stem cells work in these babies bodies when they are born. And by understanding the problem we then can engineer a solution. And today we have a clinical trial that we're currently offering patients where we actually use the umbilical cord blood collected at the time of their birth, processed and delivered into their heart muscle at the time of one of their elective surgeries. By doing this we hope that we can show that technology is safe in the congenital heart disease situation and ultimately be able to rebuild and strengthen the heart tissue to make it bigger, better and stronger. As we do the research in the lab and in the clinical setting, we're hoping to constantly improve and iteratively improve upon the cells that we use so we can grow better tissue that's stronger and more effective sustaining cardiac function and ultimately delaying in preventing transplant for children with hypoplastic left heart.
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