Dr Philippe Menasché obtained his MD and PhD degrees from the University of Paris. He is currently Professor of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery at the University of Paris Descartes, Chief of the Heart Failure Surgery Unit of the Hôpital Européen Georges Pompidou and Director of an INSERM (National Institute of Health and Medical Research) laboratory devoted to cell therapy of cardiovascular diseases. He started to work in this area more than 15 years ago and performed in 2000 the first human intramyocardial transplantation of autologous skeletal myoblasts in a patient with severe heart failure. He was then the PI of a randomised controlled trial of myoblast transplantation designed to assess the safety and efficacy of the technique. The suboptimal results of this study has then led the group to refocus on the use of cardiac progenitors derived from human embryonic stem cells (ESC). The laboratory is using small and large animal (including nonhuman primate) models of myocardial infarction and, in parallel with basic and preclinical studies on myocardial regeneration by ESC-derived cardiac progenitors, is involved in the optimisation of cell delivery and survival-enhancing techniques through the use of tissue engineering with the objective of an upcoming clinical translation in patients with end-stage heart failure who have exhausted conventional therapies.
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