The Cardiac Signaling Center is a joint venture between the University of South Carolina, the Medical University of South Carolina, and Clemson University and is devoted to performing cutting-edge research at the intersection of basic science and clinical medicine. The Center is led by its founding director Dr. Martin Morad who was appointed by the legislature in 2008 as the Blue Cross Blue Shield Endowed Chair in Cardiovascular Health. Under Dr. Morad’s leadership the Center has increasingly drawn funding from both private and public sources and continues to attract world-class faculty and research fellows.
The Cardiac Signaling Center draws upon the clinical, biological, and engineering expertise of its sponsoring universities to study molecular cardiovascular mechanisms and develop new therapeutic approaches for heart disease. Central to this effort is research that takes advantage of recent progress in stem cell biology, tissue engineering, and medical genetics to develop clinically usable cells which can be implanted into patients to treat diseases of the heart. A key advantage of this approach is that it avoids the problem of rejection commonly encountered using tissue from another individual. The laboratory’s ultimate goal is to build upon these advances and techniques to engineer a biogenic pacemaker capable of regulating a patient’s heart beat over a lifetime.