Scientific Advisory Board


Roberto Bolli, MD, is the chair of CardioCreate’s Scientific Advisory Board. Dr. Bolli is director of the Division of Cardiology and University of Louisville’s Institute for Molecular Cardiology and a member of the Cardiovascular Innovation Institute. He is also Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Medicine. He and his team at Louisville have been awarded over 50 million dollars from NIH to lead clinical-driven research focusing on the prevention of cardiac tissue damage during heart attacks as well as investigating the use of adult cardiac stem cells to repair dead heart tissue, pioneering the use of stem cells taken from the patient for potential heart repair applications. Dr. Bolli is currently chairman of the AHA’s Distinguished Scientist Selection Committee, of the AHA’s Council on Basic Cardiovascular Sciences and of the AHA’s Council Operations Committee. He is a member of the advisory council of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. He is also president-elect of the International Society for Heart Research. Dr. Bolli earned his medical degree at the University of Perugia in Italy and was a cardiology research fellow at the NIH. Prior to joining University of Louisville, he was a professor of cardiology at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. Dr. Bolli has authored over 270 peer reviewed papers.


Howard Dittrich, MD, is a cardiologist with more than 20 years of experience in cardiac therapeutic research and clinical development, Dr. Dittrich has served as Chief Medical Officer of Laguna since 2011. He previously served as Chief Medical Officer of the cardiovascular companies Sorbent Therapeutics, Sequel Pharmaceuticals, and NovaCardia which was acquired by Merck in 2007. Prior to NovaCardia, Dr. Dittrich held executive positions overseeing clinical development and regulatory affairs at Molecular Biosystems, Inc. and Alliance Pharmaceutical Corp., during which time he was instrumental in gaining U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval of two cardiovascular imaging agents. Dr. Dittrich was previously a faculty member of the Department of Medicine at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and Clinical Professor of Medicine at UCSD. In addition, Dr. Dittrich co-founded and serves as Chairman of the board of directors of IOWA Approach Inc., privately-held company developing atrial fibrillation ablation technology, as well as Adjunct Professor of Medicine at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine and Chair of the board of directors of the François M. Abboud Cardiovascular Research Center at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine. Dr. Dittrich holds a B.S. degree from the University of Iowa and an M.D. from the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine. He completed his residency in internal medicine and clinical fellowship in cardiology at UCSD.


Roger J. Hajjar, MD, is the Director of the Cardiovascular Research Center, and holds the Arthur & Janet C. Ross Professor of Medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University and his MD from Harvard Medical School. Dr. Hajjar served as Director of the Cardiovascular Laboratory of Integrative Physiology and Imaging at Massachusetts General Hospital and Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Hajjar has also been a staff cardiologist in the Heart Failure & Cardiac Transplantation Center at Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Hajjar is a internationally renowned scientific leader in the field of cardiac gene therapy for heart failure. His basic science laboratory remains one of the preeminent laboratories for molecular mechanisms of congestive heart failure and targeted gene transfer. Dr Hajjar’s research has been recognized with initiation and successes of phase 1 and phase 2 First-in-Man clinical trials of SERCA2a gene transfer in patients with advanced heart failure and recent completion of an international phase 2b/3 trial. Dr. Hajjar’s numerous awards and distinctions include the Young Investigator Award of the American Heart Association, a Doris Duke Clinical Scientist award, first prize at the Astra Zeneca Young Investigator Forum, the Distinguished Alumnus Award from Johns Hopkins University, the Mount Sinai Dean’s award for Excellence in Translational Science, as well as the 2013 BCVS Distinguished Achievement Award from the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology Paul Dudley lecture at the 2013 NY Symposium, and he was inducted in the American Association of Physicians (2014). He has authored over 325 peer-reviewed publications and holds a dozen patents. He is the scientific founder of two biotechnology companies Celladon Corp. and Nanocor.

Joshua Hare

Joshua Hare, MD, FACC, FAHA, is the Louis Lemberg Professor and Director of the Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Institute (ISCI) at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. Dr. Hare is an expert in cardiovascular medicine and specializes in heart failure, myocardial infarction, inflammatory diseases of the heart, and heart transplantation. At the Miller School of Medicine, Dr. Hare is the founding director of the interdisciplinary Stem Cell Institute, an institute devoted to the field of regenerative medicine. The Institute houses more than 30 independent research groups devoted to basic scientific and translational work in the field of stem cell therapy and regenerative medicine. Dr. Hare conducted a first-in-man study of allogeneic bone-marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) to treat patients with heart damage due to myocardial infarction and is currently conducting a clinical trial using combinatory therapy with MSCs and Cardiac Progenitor Cells. He has also pioneered the use of a new catheter design to deliver stem cells to the heart. The NIH supports Dr. Hare’s research and the ISCI has active programs in regenerative medicine to treat patients with cancer, heart disease, alcoholism, neonatal complication, skin diseases and bone diseases.


Steven R. Houser, Ph.D., FAHA, is the Laura H. Carnell Professor of Physiology and Medicine, Director, Cardiovascular Research Center and Chair of Physiology at Temple University School of Medicine. His laboratory has been actively involved in cardiovascular research for over 30 years. His science has focused on the fundamental biology of cardiac myocytes and their response to pathological stress. His research initially focused on the electrical and mechanical properties of the heart and the alterations in these properties that contribute to depressed cardiac performance in heart failure. The Houser laboratory defined fundamental aspects of excitation-contraction coupling and Ca2+ regulation in the normal heart. His work has focused on the alterations in myocyte Ca2+ regulation that cause depressed contractile reserve in the failing human heart and predispose the heart to arrhythmias. Dr. Houser’s recent research has focused on the idea that heart failure does not result from fundamental defects in myocyte Ca2+ regulation, but instead, from Ca2+ mediated cell death. The Houser laboratory is also exploring the idea that heart failure results from a loss of functional cardiac myocytes, and that increasing myocyte number, with cell therapy, can restore more normal function to the failing heart. Approaches that enhance phasic Ca2+ entry into cardiac precursor cells are being tested for their cardiogenic potential. The ultimate goal of the work in the Houser laboratory is to develop therapeutic strategies to better treat patients suffering with poor cardiac pump function. His work has been supported consistently by the National Institutes of Health since 1984. Including a grant in 2005 to determine the presence of cardiac stem cells and whether they can be used to fight heart failure. In 2002 he won the University Faculty Award for Research in recognition of his pioneering work.


Douglas W. Losordo, MD, FACC, FAHA, is a leader in cell therapy research and a renowned cardiologist and Chief Medical Officer of NeoStem, Inc. Most recently, Dr. Losordo was Vice President, New Therapies Development, Regenerative Medicine and Baxter Ventures at Baxter International. Dr. Losordo is well regarded for his career-long efforts to develop novel therapeutics and as a scientist he obtained over $35 million in National Institutes of Health funding for discovering and developing new therapeutic concepts in the laboratory, providing the basis for clinical studies. He has led first in human studies in multiple gene and adult stem cell therapies in patients with cardiovascular diseases, including therapies now in Phase 3 testing. He is a highly sought after speaker with over 200 international lectures. He is an associate editor of Circulation Research and serves on multiple editorial boards. Dr. Losordo is an adjunct professor of medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois. From 2006 to 2011, he was the director of the Feinberg Cardiovascular Research Institute and the Eileen M. Foell Professor of Heart Research at Northwestern University’s School of Medicine and director of the Program in Cardiovascular Regenerative Medicine at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. From 2004 to 2006, he was a Professor of Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine and Chief of Cardiovascular Research at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Boston. He is board-certified in internal medicine, cardiovascular disease, and interventional cardiology. Dr. Losordo’s major research interests encompass angiogenesis/vasculogenesis, progenitor/adult stem cells, tissue repair/regeneration, and vascular biology.


Joseph C. Wu, MD, Ph.D., is Director of the Stanford Cardiovascular Institute and Professor in the Department of Medicine (Cardiology) and Department of Radiology (Molecular Imaging Program) at the Stanford School of Medicine. Dr. Wu has a thriving research program focused upon pluripotent stem cells and the clinical use of stem cells to treat myocardial injury by regenerative therapies. Dr. Wu received his medical degree from Yale and completed his medicine residency and cardiology fellowship training followed by a PhD (molecular pharmacology) at UCLA. Dr. Wu has received several awards, including the Burroughs Wellcome Foundation Career Award in Medical Sciences, Baxter Foundation Faculty Scholar Award, NIH Director’s New Innovator Award, NIH Roadmap Transformative Award, and Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers given out by President Obama. He is on the editorial board of Journal Clinical Investigation, Circulation Research, Circulation Cardiovascular Imaging, JACC Imaging, Human Gene Therapy, Molecular Therapy, Stem Cell Research, and Journal of Nuclear Cardiology. His clinical activities involve adult congenital heart disease and echocardiography.

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