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New Heart Repair Strategies Discussed at UH Lecture May 15Speaker Series Addresses How Science Impacts Health and Society

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May 7, 2012-Houston-

With the heart having limited ability to regenerate following injury, heart disease is the primary cause of morbidity and mortality in the developed world. Research impacting strategies for heart repair will be addressed during a lecture May 15 at the University of Houston (UH).

Eric N. Olson, a molecular biologist with the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, will present “Heart Making and Heart Breaking: New Strategies for Heart Repair.” He will be the second speaker in a new UH lecture series highlighting the impact of science on health and society. Eric Olson, UT Southwestern

Olson is known for his work identifying major genetic pathways that control the formation of the heart and other muscles. A co-founder of multiple biotechnology companies pursuing new therapeutics for heart disease, he will discuss recent advances in understanding the mechanisms of cardiac injury and regeneration, as well as strategies for promoting cardiac repair.

Olson and his colleagues discovered many key genetic factors and mechanisms responsible for heart development and disease. Most recently, Olson identified a group of tiny genetic molecules known as microRNAs that regulate heart disease, blood vessel formation and obesity. His discoveries have influenced the understanding of the development and dysfunction of the cardiovascular system, providing new concepts in the quest for cardiovascular therapeutics. His long-term goal is for this research to one day lead to devising pharmacologic and genetic therapies for inherited and acquired muscle diseases in humans.

Sponsored by the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics (NSM), the Friends of NSM Distinguished Lecture Series features leading scientists and physicians addressing breakthroughs in science that will alter the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases, as well as impact the delivery of medical care. The lectures are free and open to the public.

WHO: Molecular Biologist Eric N. Olson
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
WHAT: Lecture: “Heart Making and Heart Breaking: New Strategies for Heart Repair”
Friends of NSM Distinguished Lecture Series: Science Impacting Health and Society
WHEN: 7 – 8 p.m., Tuesday, May 15
WHERE: University of Houston
Rockwell Pavilion, second floor of the UH M.D. Anderson Library
Off Calhoun Road, Entrance 1
Map: http://www.friends.nsm.uh.edu/directions

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