Emerson C. Perin, M.D., Ph.D., F.A.C.C.

Dr. Perin was born in Porto Alegre, Brazil, and spent equal amounts of time in the U. S. and Brazil during his childhood. He obtained his M.D. degree at Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil. His training in internal medicine and cardiology was completed in the U.S., where he graduated as outstanding cardiology fellow of his class from the Texas Heart Institute (THI) in Houston. He remained at THI as an interventional cardiologist and is currently ranked in the top 1% of interventional cardiologists in the nation. Since 2001, Dr. Perin has served as the director of New Interventional Cardiovascular Technology at THI and has been at the forefront of developing cutting-edge treatment options for patients with coronary artery disease. His extensive research in 3D NOGA mapping of the heart led to the development of the techniques currently used for percutaneous transendocardial injections in the heart. In 2008, he assumed a leadership role as director of Clinical Research for Cardiovascular Medicine at THI at St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital.

As a pioneer in clinical regenerative medicine, Dr. Perin performed the first stem cell injection in a patient with heart failure in 2001 and subsequently published the first clinical trial to evaluate stem cell therapy in heart failure patients. As medical director of the Stem Cell Center at THI, which he founded in the 1990s, he has led multiple clinical trials of stem cell therapy, focused on the treatment of heart failure but also to evaluate the use of stem cells in acute myocardial infarction, refractory angina, and peripheral arterial disease. Under his leadership, THI’s Stem Cell Center has become recognized as a worldwide leader in clinical research in stem cell therapy. He also serves as a principal investigator in the Cardiovascular Cell Therapy Research Network, which is a consortium of seven sites supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and charged with advancing the use of cell therapy for treating heart disease. Currently, his overall approach is to develop new clinical trials to expand patient populations that can benefit from cell therapy. His research endeavors push the limits of current knowledge and are aimed at harnessing new technology to improve patient outcome, such as using reporter genes to track stem cells and nanotechnology to potentiate cell delivery.

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