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Deciphering the regenerative potential of newborn mammalian hearts

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Geekz Snow
Deciphering the regenerative potential of newborn mammalian hearts

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Unlike lower vertebrates, mammals are unable to repair their adult hearts after injuries that include heart attacks.

This inability in humans leads to heart failure -- a deadly and costly disease that affects more than 5 million Americans.

There is a big catch, however -- this remarkable ability is present for only a few days after birth.

The study aims to decipher the mechanisms that govern the regenerative potential of large neonatal mammalian hearts, and then determine whether those regulatory mechanisms can be manipulated to remuscularize the heart after muscle death in the left ventricle, the heart's major pumping chamber.

The research will be led by Jianyi "Jay" Zhang, M.D., Ph.D., chair and professor of the UAB Department of Biomedical Engineering; Hesham Sadek, M.D., associate professor of internal medicine, The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas; and Lior Zangi, Ph.D., assistant professor of cardiology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York.

Zhang is a longtime leader in biomedical research to improve human heart attack recovery.

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