However, the outcomes have been modest due to age- and disease-related impairment of stem cell function. We therefore aim to elucidate the cardiac regenerative potential of stem cells from alternative sources (neonatal and induced pluripotent stem cells). Another prime focus of our group is to investigate the mode of action of these transplanted cells, their interaction with the damaged myocardium and to identify cues from within the heart that determine their survival, engraftment and cardiogenic differentiation capacity. We also perform clinical trials of cell therapy for heart disease in close collaboration with the Deutsches Herzzentrum Berlin (DHZB).
Our research motivation is based on our proximity to clinical patient care. Prof. Stamm is a cardiac surgeon at DHZB, which is conveniently located right next door to the BCRT. Here, patients with severe heart disease are treated every day using every conceivable therapeutic means. For many of those, heart failure symptoms can be relieved only temporarily. Here, we are reminded every day that heart failure is a life-threatening disease. This is why, for us, research in clinically relevant novel methods for regeneration of the heart has top priority.