New cardiovascular research program in GR

Dr. Stefan Jovinge (Feb. 6, 2014)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – Two of West Michigan’s biggest medical institutions are teaming up to bring a world-renowned cardiovascular researcher and cardiologist to Grand Rapids.

Stefan Jovinge, MD, Ph.D, will lead teams of researchers and clinicians at the Spectrum Health Frederik Meijer Heart & Vascular Institute and Van Andel Research Institute.

He is at the forefront of a new technology that could change how heart disease is treated around the world. His work deals with the cells in hearts, and regrowing those cells, to repair damaged tissue.

The DeVos Cardiovascular Research Program will be comprised of four areas of focus: cell engineering; multi-center patient treatment and clinical trials; cell source identification and scientific training; and development for future researchers including interns, fellows, and graduate students. Dr. Jovinge will lead teams at both institutions to further collaborate on basic, translational and clinical research studies.

In addition to basic science research, Jovinge said he also sees opportunities for the program to participate in multi-center clinical trials, including a focus on the development and implementation of investigator-initiated trials in Grand Rapids. He also will work with physicians at the Frederik Meijer Heart & Vascular Institute to assist with their own development of clinical and translational research, including opportunities to publish and present on a national level.

“Van Andel Research Institute is truly world-class, and Spectrum Health is among the best in the country when it comes to clinical performance in the cardiovascular area,” said Jovinge. “Spectrum Health has an impressive patient flow and extensive expertise in cardiovascular medicine, and remarkably neighbors Van Andel Research Institute, headquartered here in Grand Rapids. For a clinical scientist like me, there is a great opportunity in having these two organizations work together.”

Jovinge comes to Grand Rapids from Lund University in Sweden, where he was a professor in cardiology. He earned his medical degree and Ph.D. from Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. He also completed a research fellowship in the department of cardiology at the Cedars-Sinai Research Institute at the University of California Los Angeles.

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