LOS ANGELES--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--The Saban Research Institute recently hosted the Los Angeles Area Cardiovascular Research Symposium and Research Award Reception, sponsored by the American Heart Association (AHA). This event was the first interactive meeting between cardiovascular experts in California since 1997, when the AHA disbanded local chapters in favor of regional affiliates.
“We thank the American Heart Association for its clarity of vision in helping us invent the future for cardiovascular therapies for kids, as well as adults.”
“By bringing together top-ranked cardiovascular researchers, we hope to lead the development of advances in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of heart disease—the number one cause of death in the United States,” says Brent Polk, MD, director of The Saban Research Institute.
The event focused on facilitating communication and interaction between the region’s cardiovascular specialists, and centered on understanding developmental origins of heart health and disease. Throughout the day, sixteen presenters discussed their groundbreaking research. Featured topics included the engineering of cardiac pacemaker cells, the biological basis of congenital heart disease and the development of cellular imaging techniques capable of following individual cardiac cells through fetal growth. John Wood, MD, PhD, gave the keynote address on sickle cell disease as a model of premature vascular aging. He specifically emphasized that cardiovascular disease research is becoming trans-disciplinary, thus making collaboration even more important, especially during the current difficult funding atmosphere.
“This symposium truly represented the scope and depth of cardiovascular research in our area,” says Ellen Lien, PhD, a principal investigator in the Heart Regeneration Lab at The Saban Research Institute, and program organizer. “We hope to make this an annual event in order to continue interaction between LA’s numerous world-class cardiovascular experts.”
An evening reception and poster session concluded the symposium, and attendees gathered in the Anita S. Watson Courtyard to honor AHA research award recipients, as well as to discuss plans for next year’s event.
“This symposium showed that cardiovascular research is thriving in Southern California and that cell-based regenerative therapies for the heart are coming ever increasingly close to achieving fruition,” says David Warburton, MD, director of Developmental Biology and Regenerative Medicine at The Saban Research Institute. “We thank the American Heart Association for its clarity of vision in helping us invent the future for cardiovascular therapies for kids, as well as adults.”
In addition to Ellen Lien, PhD, this symposium was organized by Henry Sucov, PhD, associate professor at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, and Yibin Wang, PhD, director of the Division of Molecular Medicine at the University of California-Los Angeles.
About Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
Children's Hospital Los Angeles has been named the best children’s hospital in California and among the top five in the nation for clinical excellence with its selection to the prestigious US News & World Report Honor Roll. Children’s Hospital is home to The Saban Research Institute, one of the largest and most productive pediatric research facilities in the United States, is one of America's premier teaching hospitals and has been affiliated with the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California since 1932.