Cardiovascular disease, including congenital heart defects, is the second-leading killer of people under age 21, second only to accidents, according to a Vanderbilt University research scientists who spoke at Memorial Hospital today.
Dr. Joey Barnett, whose research into pediatric heart disease is funded by the American Heart Association, spoke at the heart association's first annual research luncheon.
Barnett discussed some of his own research studying the development of embryonic chicken hearts at Vanderbilt, and his breakthroughs in identifying the genes associated with certain heart diseases.
He hopes within his lifetime scientists will be able to grow an implantable heart valve from stem cells.
"We're not going to have a heart valve tomorrow, but today we can use genetic information to predict who's going to respond to a drug," he said. "That's directly out of research funded by the American Heart Association in the last 10 years."
For complete details see tomorrow's Chattanooga Times Free Press.