June 6, 2012 –
Bioengineering Professor Song Li has shown that a previously unknown type of stem cell, not smooth muscle cells within blood vessel walls, is to blame for artery-hardening diseases such as atherosclerosis. The research is outlined in a new study appearing today in the journal Nature Communications.
“For the first time, we are showing evidence that vascular diseases are actually a kind of stem cell disease,” said Li. “This work should revolutionize therapies for vascular diseases because we now know that stem cells rather than smooth muscle cells are the correct therapeutic target.”
Other lead authors of the article are Zhenyu Tang, a Ph.D. student in the UC Berkeley-UCSF Graduate Program in Bioengineering, and Aijun Wang, a former post-doctoral researcher in Li’s lab.
Read the full story at the UC Berkeley News Center.