Shinya Yamanaka, MD, PhD, of the the Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease (GICD) and Kyoto University, has won the 2009 Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award for his discovery of a method of reprogramming adult skin cells to become embryonic-like stem cells. Yamanaka, who is the L.K .Whittier Investigator in Stem Cell Biology at Gladstone, and professor of anatomy at UCSF, is one of the youngest recipients of the award, which is seen as a precursor to the Nobel Prize.
Researchers at the Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease (GICD) have discovered a key switch that makes stem cells turn into the type of muscle cells that reside in the wall of blood vessels. The same switch might be used in the future to limit growth of vascular muscle cells that cause narrowing of arteries leading to heart attacks and strokes, limit formation of blood vessels that feed cancers, or make new blood vessels for organs that are not getting enough blood flow.
Shinya Yamanaka, MD, PhD, of the Gladstone Institutes and Kyoto University is one of seven recipients of Canada's prestigious Gairdner Award. The Gairdner is referred to as the “Baby Nobel,” since many winners then go on to win the Nobel Prize.
Researchers at the Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease (GICD) and the University of California, San Francisco have unraveled a complex signaling process that reveals how different types of cells interact to create a heart. It has long been known that heart muscle cells (cardiomyocytes) actively divide and expand in the embryo, but after birth this proliferative capacity is permanently lost. How this transition occurs has not been known. In the current issue of the journal Developmental Cell, the scientists show that the secret to this switch lies in the cells that surround the muscle cells, known as fibroblasts, which send signals that tell cardiomyocytes to divide or get bigger in size. Manipulation of these signals may be able to induce cardiomyocytes to divide again for regenerative purposes after heart attacks.