The Okyanos Heart Institute Medical Advisory Council provides extensive insight on cell biology and the mechanisms of action that these cells have on improving heart function and repairing damage to the heart muscle as a result of a heart attack.
Dr. Colombo is the Director of Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory at Columbus Hospital in Milan, Italy, and Chief of Invasive Cardiology at San Raffaele Hospital. Additionally, he serves as a visiting professor of medicine at Columbia Medical Center in New York. Dr. Colombo contributed to the development of intravascular ultrasound in coronary stent placement—a procedure for which he is regarded a pioneer. He also lead the cardiac stem cell therapy trial at San Raffaele Hospital in Milan. As principal investigator, Dr. Colombo dealt first-hand with adult stem cell treatment for chronic angina and heart disease patients. Some of his research can be found in publications such as the American Journal of Cardiovascular Drugs and Circulation: Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
Dr. Duckers serves as an interventional cardiologist and the head of the Molecular Cardiology Laboratory at the Thoraxcenter, Erasmus University Medical Center Rotterdam in the Netherlands. He is the principal investigator of the ADVANCE clinical trial, which treats patients within 24 hours of an acute heart attack using cells from a person’s own fat tissue, known as adipose-derived stem and regenerative cells. Previously, Dr. Duckers served as an investigator for the PRECISE clinical trial, which treated patients with chronic coronary artery disease who had exhausted all options from conventional treatment and upon which the Okyanos Heart Institute cardiac cell therapy treatment is based.
Dr. Mendelsohn serves as the director of the Center for Therapeutic Angiogenesis. A graduate of Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Dr. Mendelsohn completed his internship and residency in internal medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital, where he was a clinical fellow in medicine at Harvard Medical School. He completed a fellowship at Duke University Medical Center in cardiovascular disease where he began his research on therapeutic angiogenesis. In 1999 he founded the Center for Therapeutic Angiogenesis in Birmingham, Ala. and through the center has served as the principal investigator in more than 20 clinical trials of therapeutic angiogenesis for both coronary artery and peripheral artery disease patients using various protein, gene and stem cell therapies. Dr. Mendelsohn dosed the first patient in the world with the vascular growth factor HGF using a percutaneous intra-myocardial delivery catheter and performed the first stem cell transplant to the heart in Alabama.
Dr. Leslie Miller is Chief Science Officer at Okyanos Heart Institute. He is a renowned cardiologist, specifically in the areas of heart failure and transplant who has shifted his focus solely to the field of regenerative medicine and the use of adult stem cells to repair and recover heart function. Dr. Miller served as Chief of Cardiology at the University of Minnesota, Director of the Cardiac Programs at Georgetown University School of Medicine, Georgetown University Hospital and Washington Hospital Center. Most recently, he was Director of the University of South Florida (USF) Heart Institute and the Cardiac Stem Cell Program. Over the course of his medical career, he has served as an investigator in more than 80 clinical trials.