Dr. William Danforth (left), Dr. James T. Willerson (center), Dr. Doug L. Mann (right) [Photo Courtesy: Maryann Manion Photography

Renowned Cardiologist, Dr. James T. Willerson Spotlights New Stem Cell Research To Repair Severe Heart Damage During  St. Louis Visit.


Dr. Willerson discussed findings from a recently released study that could pave the way for new stem cell therapies to treat patients with severe heart failure on May 24 event in St. Louis that was sponsored by Missouri Cures Education Foundation.

Dr. Willerson, president and medical director of Texas Heart Institute, led a research team that found a patients’ own bone marrow stem cells can potentially be used to repair the heart and restore healthy blood flow after severe heart failure. The findings are from a multi-center clinical study — the largest such investigation to date of bone marrow-derived stem cells ever done in patients with severe heart failure. The findings were presented in March at the annual session of the American College of Cardiology in Chicago.


Watch the Full Presentation by Dr. Willerson


Researchers hope that continuing favorable trial results will pave the way for new clinical trials and, ultimately, new therapies that could help patients with heart failure. Heart failure is a condition in which the heart can't pump enough blood to meet the body's needs.

About 5.8 million people in the United States have heart failure, according to the NIH National Heart Lung and Blood Institute.

Dr. Willerson is the Edward Randall III Professor of Internal Medicine at The University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston. He also is the former chairman of the National American Heart Association Research Committee and a former board member.

“I believe we were meant to learn of the powerful potential of stem cells and build on it,? Dr. Willerson said. “Ultimately, stem cell research could give us the ability to regenerate whole hearts.?

The May 24 presentation was open to the public and  held at The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis, Missouri.


“We are delighted that Dr. Willerson is able to come to St. Louis and share his exciting research, which has the potential to help millions of patients who have heart failure,? said Dena Ladd, executive director of Missouri Cures Education Foundation.

Dr. Doug Mann, Lewin Chair and Chief, Cardiovascular Division of Washington University School of Medicine, introduced Dr. Willerson.

Event sponsors were: Dr. William Danforth; James and Elizabeth McDonnell; Ambassador Sam and Marilyn Fox; John and Anne McDonnell; and The Staenberg Family Foundation in conjunction with THF Realty.

Host committee members were: Dan and Connie Burkhardt; Lynn and Kathy Chipp erfield; Michael and Leslie Christ; Drs. Sessions and Pat Cole; Rabbis ; Michael and Leslie Christ; Drs. Sessions and Pat Cole; Rabbis James Goodman and Susan Talve; Dr. WilliamJoffe and Liz Heller; Drs. Doug Mann and Laura Colletti; Bob and Colleen Millstone; B ruce and Kim Olson; Doug and Kathy Pope; Joe and Annie Schlafly; Tom and Mary Stillman; Ambassador Bert and Carol Walker; Stephen and Dr. Carolynn Wolff.

Proceeds from the event benefitted the nonprofit Missouri Cures Education Foundation and its efforts to educate Missourians about the importance of medical research, including stem cell research.

Debbie Davis at (314) 993-1900 or email Checks may be mailed to: Missouri Cures Education Foundation, P.O. Box 16580, St. Louis, MO 63105.

Watch the Full Presentation by  Dr. Willerson
[Photos Courtesy: Maryann Manion Photography]

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