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September 24, 2019

Maine Med awarded $1.9M grant for heart disease research

maine med Courtesy / Maine Medical Center Maine Medical Center in Portland is one of nearly 100 health care providers that will receive funding under the CARES Act.

Maine Medical Center, the Portland flagship hospital of MaineHealth, has been awarded a $1.9 million grant from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute to study how stem cells may help reverse heart failure.
The pre-clinical study may someday lead to new treatments for the condition, MMC said in a news release Tuesday.
With the award, the hospital’s chief academic officer, Doug Sawyer, and a team of faculty scientists will compare the therapeutic effects of stem cells from the heart and those from other parts of the body. The stem cells have all been collected from MMC patients who have consented to a small biopsy of heart tissue at the time of cardiac surgery. 
“Cell therapy is a promising area of science that may one day reduce the number of patients who need current advanced therapies such as heart transplant and mechanical pumps,” Sawyer said in the release. “Studies like this help us understand what may make some stem cells better at repairing an injured heart than others.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease was the second-leading cause of death in Maine in 2017.

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