MUSC, Israeli institutions join to advance stem cell research

Heather Woolwine

Nov. 21, 2011

MUSC, Israeli institutions join to advance stem cell research

“Frontiers in Cardiovascular Regeneration” symposium marks new age of discovery

CHARLESTON -- Imagine a day when doctors can use a patient’s own skin cells to make old hearts young again, grow a new heart valve or restore an irregular heartbeat without a pacemaker. That day is closer than you think.

Scientists and researchers from across the globe convened at the Medical University of South Carolina’s new bioengineering building to mark the first international symposium regarding cardiovascular regeneration.

In addition, MUSC President Dr. Ray Greenberg and Dr. Rafael Beyar, CEO and Director General of Rambam Health Care Campus, signed a memorandum of understanding for further collaboration among the medical university and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology and the Rambam Health Care Campus, located in Haifa, Israel. Charleston Mayor Joe Riley also proclaimed Nov. 17 and 18th “MUSC-Technion-Rambam Collaboration Days” in the City of Charleston, urging all residents to join in recognizing the potential this joint research effort brings to the area.

The symposium launches a broader, long-term research partnership between scientists in Israel and Charleston in the pursuit of scientific breakthroughs in stem cell research. Some of the innovations the universities will collaborate on include:

•Create new skin, muscle and organs to replace failing ones

•Restore a regular heartbeat, without a mechanical pacemaker

•Replace tissues damaged during a heart attack

•Repair a weakened artery, thereby preventing a ruptured aneurysm

By collaborating, American and Israeli scientists enhance the possibility for bilateral NIH (National Institutes of Health) funding and accelerate development of patentable, therapeutic techniques that can be taken to market. Under the terms of the partnership, two-way information sharing will take place through visiting professorships, working sabbaticals, joint grant applications, shared educational programs, joint research projects and annual symposia where findings can be shared and further explored.

About MUSC

Founded in 1824 in Charleston, The Medical University of South Carolina is the oldest medical school in the South. Today, MUSC continues the tradition of excellence in education, research, and patient care. MUSC educates and trains more than 3,000 students and residents, and has nearly 11,000 employees, including 1,500 faculty members. As the largest non-federal employer in Charleston, the university and its affiliates have collective annual budgets in excess of $1.7 billion. MUSC operates a 750-bed medical center, which includes a nationally recognized Children's Hospital, the Ashley River Tower (cardiovascular, digestive disease, and surgical oncology), and a leading Institute of Psychiatry. For more information on academic information or clinical services, visit or