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Ben Paylor
University of Western Ontario (London, Ontario)
Ben Paylor completed a Bachelor of Medical Science at the University of Western Ontario, which included a 1-year research exchange to Umea in Northern Sweden. Following his Bachelors, he completed a 2-year Masters of Philosophy in Cardiovascular Biology and Medicine at Maastricht University in the Netherlands. He is currently a PhD student of Experimental Medicine under the supervision of Dr. Fabio Rossi at the University of British Columbia. His research focuses on understanding the role of tissue-resident mesenchymal progenitors in repair processes of the heart. Outside of science, Ben is an avid pianist and tennis player, as well as being very interested in the field of science communication. His first short film, Epigenetic Landscapes, won awards at a number of science film festivals, and he is currently working on its follow-up to be released in the fall of 2011. Ben is also a member of the Training and Communication Committee at the Stem Cell Network.
Recent Activity
Good question Tina - the current hypothesis is that cardiac stem cells (CSCs) will contribute to the natural (and slow) turnover of cardiomyocytes (heart muscle cells) throughout one's life. In situations of injury, CSCs are in fact activated to divide and contribute to regeneration, but their regenerative capacity is quite limited and unable to functionally restore the damaged heart following severe injury (such as an infarction). Additionally, the fate of CSCs present within the infarcted myocardium is comparable to that of other cells present (e.g. cardiomyocytes) in that they will die due by apoptosis and necrosis, preventing them from regenerating these areas. By isolating the cells and then expanding them in the lab, researchers are able to deliver large numbers of these cells to damaged areas of the heart, allowing for substantial regeneration and functional improvements.
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Jun 22, 2011