The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute granted $17.9 million for the research of stem-cell treatments for cardiovascular disease to the UT School of Public Health Coordinated Center for Clinical Trials.

The school was established in 1967 as part of the UT Health Science Center in Houston.

The new funding will bring the institution to the forefront of stem-cell, cardiovascular research. Charged with coordinating the network’s participating centers, the school will serve as the hub for the Cardiovascular Cell Therapy Research Network.

According to the American Heart Association, stem cells may potentially be able to reverse heart disease by regenerating vital organ tissue. Eighty million Americans may have heart disease, and the network’s research could prove invaluable to an enormous part of the U.S. population, according to the association.

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