Recent Advances

January 26, 2010

Shinya Yamanaka, MD, PhD, of the Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease (GICD) was awarded the 2010 March of Dimes Prize in Developmental Biology. Yamanaka, who is also a professor at Kyoto University, Japan, will be honored for his pioneering work that has fundamentally altered the field of developmental biology and will aid research into the prevention of birth defects.

November 1, 2009

Scientists at the Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease (GICD) and Stanford University School of Medicine will collaborate in a new consortium funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) to develop stem cell and regenerative medicine therapies. GICD investigators, led by GICD Director Deepak Srivastava, MD, will collaborate with a Stanford team led by Robert Robbins, MD, professor and chair of cardiothoracic surgery, to investigate how to use induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPS cells, to repair damaged heart muscle.

October 13, 2009

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded a “Grand Opportunity” grant of $3.7 million to a consortium formed with the Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease(GIND) and the Taube-Koret Center for Huntington's Disease Research to use stem cell technology to better understand Huntington's disease and to develop potential therapies. The consortium comprises a partnership of five leading Huntington's research laboratories at the University of Wisconsin, Massachusetts General Hospital, the University of California at Irvine, Johns Hopkins and the Gladstone Institutes. The consortium will use induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell technology pioneered by Gladstone and Kyoto University's Shinya Yamanaka, MD, PhD, to develop human neurons with Huntingtonís disease characteristics. iPS technology enables stem cells to be generated from skin samples from adults and avoids the ethical issues surrounding the use of fetal stem cells.

September 14, 2009

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.

July 5, 2009

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.

April 8, 2009

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.

February 17, 2009

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.