World-Renowned Cell-Therapy Researcher, Doris Taylor, PhD, Joins Texas Heart Institute at St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital

Noted for Work to Regenerate Hearts, Other Organs

HOUSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Officials at the Texas Heart Institute (THI) at St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital (St. Luke’s) announced today that Doris Taylor, PhD, FAHA, FACC, one of the world’s leading cell therapy and cardiac regeneration scientists, will join THI beginning March 1, 2012.

World-renowned cell-therapy researcher, Doris Taylor, PhD, joins Texas Heart Institute at St. Luke's ...

World-renowned cell-therapy researcher, Doris Taylor, PhD, joins Texas Heart Institute at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital. (Photo: Business Wire)

Dr. Taylor’s research includes: Cell and gene therapy for treatment of cardiovascular disease; tissue engineering of bioartificial organs and vasculature; cell-based prevention of disease; stem cells and cancer; and holistic approaches to using cell therapy for treating chronic disease.

Most recently, Dr. Taylor and her team garnered international recognition for work involving “whole organ decellularization” by showing they were able to remove existing cells from hearts of laboratory animals and even humans leaving a framework to build new organs. They repopulated the framework with other adult stem cells then provided a blood supply, and the heart regenerated with the characteristics and functions of a revitalized beating heart.

The hope is that this research is an early step toward being able to grow a fully functional human heart in the laboratory. Dr. Taylor has demonstrated that the process works for other organs as well – opening a door in the field of organ transplantation.

It is significant in that the need for transplants continues to grow, while the supply of donor organs remains critically low.

“Dr. Taylor is certainly one of the stars in the adult human stem cell field, and we feel extremely fortunate to have her join our team,” said Dr. James T. Willerson, THI’s President and Medical Director. “Her work fits very well with our mission and goals, and she certainly helps to solidify THI as a leader in cell therapy, which is one of the most promising hopes for treating cardiovascular disease.”

“The chance to work with Dr. Willerson and the THI team as colleagues is very exhilarating. From molecules, to cells, to organs and tissues, we want to create solutions for people with disease,” said Dr. Taylor. “I am confident that I am joining a regenerative medicine program that is unparalleled. And, given the breadth of innovation and science in Houston, I have every confidence that building solutions for heart diseases not only has a long history, but a bright future.”

The move to Houston will also bring her closer to her family, notes Dr. Taylor.

Dr. Taylor has been serving as director of the Center for Cardiovascular Repair and Medtronic Bakken Chair in Integrative Biology and Physiology at the University of Minnesota. Prior to that she was on the faculty as Associate Professor in Cardiology at Duke University Medical Center.

A native of Mississippi, Dr. Taylor holds a B.S. in biology from Mississippi University for Women and a Doctorate in pharmacology from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas.

About the Texas Heart® Institute

The Texas Heart Institute (, founded by world-renowned cardiovascular surgeon Dr. Denton A. Cooley in 1962, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing the devastating toll of cardiovascular disease through innovative and progressive programs in research, education and improved patient care. Together with its clinical partner, St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital, it has been ranked among the top 10 cardiovascular centers in the United States by U.S. News & World Report’s annual guide to “America’s Best Hospitals” for the past 21 years. The Texas Heart Institute is also affiliated with the University of Texas (UT) System, which promotes collaboration in cardiovascular research and education among UT and THI faculty at the Texas Heart Institute and other UT components.

About St. Luke’s Episcopal Health System

St. Luke’s Episcopal Health System ( includes St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital in the Texas Medical Center, founded in 1954 by the Episcopal Diocese of Texas; St. Luke’s The Woodlands Hospital; St. Luke’s Sugar Land Hospital; St. Luke’s Lakeside Hospital; St. Luke’s Patients Medical Center; St. Luke’s Hospital at The Vintage; and St. Luke’s Episcopal Health Charities, a charity devoted to assessing and enhancing community health, especially among the underserved. St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital is home to the Texas Heart® Institute, which was founded in 1962 by Denton A. Cooley, MD, and is consistently ranked among the top 10 cardiology and heart surgery centers in the country by U.S. News & World Report. Affiliated with several nursing schools and three medical schools, St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital was the first hospital in Texas named a Magnet hospital for nursing excellence, receiving the award three times.

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Texas Heart Institute
Frank Michel, 832-355-9510
[email protected]

KEYWORDS:   United States  North America  Texas

INDUSTRY KEYWORDS:   Stem Cells  Health  Cardiology  Hospitals  Oncology  Other Health  Research  Science  General Health


World-renowned cell-therapy researcher, Doris Taylor, PhD, joins Texas Heart Institute at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital. (Photo: Business Wire)