- February 2014 -
Dr. Shapiro and Cardiac Researchers Find Gene Therapy a Promising Tool for Cardiac Regeneration

 After a heart attack, there is often permanent damage to a portion of the heart. This happens, in part, because cardiac muscle cells cannot regrow or regenerate after blood flow is blocked off to the heart. This heart muscle scar can lead to heart failure and death. George Washington University (GW) researcher Scott Shapiro, MD, PhD, assistant professor of medicine at the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences, and his co-authors, conducted a study to stimulate damaged heart muscle to regrow using gene therapy.

Their research, published in the February issue of Science Translational Medicine, assessed the benefit of injecting Cyclin A2 (Ccna2) in an animal heart attack model.  Ccna2 is a prenatal gene that activates heart muscle growth that is normally turned off in humans after birth. Dr. Shapiro delivered Ccna2 directly into the heart and found that the animals had evidence of new cell growth and improved cardiac function. Based on these findings, Dr. Shapiro believes that gene therapy techniques have potential to be used for cardiac regeneration in patients who suffer from myocardial infarction, or heart attack.

The study, titled "Cyclin A2 Induces Cardiac Regeneration After Myocardial Infarction Through Cytokinesis of Adult Cardiomyocytes," was co-authored by researchers from the Cardiovascular Institute at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, the Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares at the Hospital Universitario La Paz, and the Division of Cardiology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.


GW Cardiology Fellowship Alumni invited to reunite at American College of Cardiology Conference

The GW Heart & Vascular Institute is sponsoring an alumni reception at Poste Moderne Brasserie in Washinton, DC adjacent to Hotel Monaco, in conjunction with the American College of Cardiology's 63rd Annual Scientific Session & Expo Sunday, March 30. All former GW cardiology fellows, faculty, and residents are invited to celebrate this occasion and catch up with old friends. Please join Richard Katz, MD, Director of the Division of Cardiology and Jacob Varghese, MD, Professor Emeritus as we look back at the advancements over the last 35-years of GW's Cardiology Fellowship Program. For more information please contact: Jessica Johnson at jjohnson@mfa.gwu.edu.


Drs. Sidawy and Neville to host 2014 Cherry Blossom Vascular Symposium April 25-26

This second annual vascular symposium will feature nationally recognized specialists and surgeons presenting hot topics in vascular care. The two-day symposium will be held on George Washington University's campus at the Jack Morton Auditorium, 805 21st Street NW and led by course directors Richard F. Neville, MD, Chief, Vascular Surgery, and Anton N. Sidawy, MD, Lewis B. Saltz Chair, Surgery. A GW Alumni Discount of $50.00 off tuition will be honored using discount code: CB14ALUM. For more information please contact: Julie Vastyan at jvastyan@gwu.edu.