Timothy Nelson, M.D., Ph.D., is one of the winners of the Director's Innovation Award from the National Institutes of Health. The award - given to young researchers who are trying new ideas and approaches -- brings with it a maximum of $1.5 million over five years. Yet, it's not all about the money. It also means recognition at the highest level of medical science in the country. The director of the NIH and his review panel are encouraging the scientists who will lead the way in coming years. The NIH describes Dr. Nelson's proposal as focusing on "developing an understanding of how the heart muscle is able to repair itself after an injury. By bioengineering stem cells from the patient's body, this study will characterize the ability of stem cells to differentiate into heart muscle and repair damaged heart muscle. This work will have broad impact on the development of novel strategies to diagnose and treat patients with heart failure."
Dr. Nelson has been involved with regenerative medicine at Mayo, first as a student and now as a staff member. His work with Dr. Andre Terzic and others has been recognized in key publications prior to this award, which will ensure his work will continue.