Farrell Mendelsohn, M.D., FACC Joins Okyanos Heart Institute Medical Advisory Council

Dr. Mendelsohn to Contribute Medical Expertise on the Process of Growing New Blood Vessels Through Cardiac Cell Therapy for the Treatment of Coronary Artery Disease

Freeport, Bahamas, The, July 21, 2012 --(PR.com)-- Okyanos Heart Institute (http://www.okyanos.com/), which brings a new standard of care and a better quality of life to patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) using cardiac cell therapy, has announced the expansion of its medical advisory council with the addition of Farrell Mendelsohn, M.D., FACC. The Okyanos Medical Advisory Council serves as a leadership council to provide medical guidelines and innovation in cardiac cell therapy and to further assist Okyanos Heart Institute in providing the highest standard of care to patients with chronic coronary artery disease. Dr. Mendelsohn serves as the director of the Center for Therapeutic Angiogenesis, located on the campus of the Princeton Baptist Medical Center in Birmingham, Ala., which serves patients with severe coronary artery or peripheral artery disease. The center’s research initiatives are dedicated to improving patient outcomes by stimulating new blood vessel growth through protein, gene and cell therapies. Mendelsohn will provide extensive insight on angiogenesis, the process of growing new blood vessels, a key mechanism in repairing heart tissue damaged from a heart attack and improving symptoms due to angina and congestive heart failure.

A graduate of Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Mendelsohn completed his internship and residency in internal medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital, where he was a clinical fellow in medicine at Harvard Medical School. He completed a fellowship at Duke University Medical Center in cardiovascular disease where he began his research on therapeutic angiogenesis. In 1999 he founded the Center for Therapeutic Angiogenesis in Birmingham, Ala. and through the center has served as the principal investigator in more than 20 clinical trials of therapeutic angiogenesis for both coronary artery and peripheral artery disease patients using various protein, gene and stem cell therapies. Mendelsohn dosed the first patient in the world with the vascular growth factor HGF using a percutaneous intra-myocardial delivery catheter and performed the first stem cell transplant to the heart in Alabama.

“A recognized leader in cardiac cell therapy research, Dr. Mendelsohn provides an extensive understanding and working knowledge of using cardiac cell therapy treatments to restore blood flow to the heart,” said Howard T. Walpole Jr., M.D., MBA, FACC, FACAI, FSCAI and chief medical officer for Okyanos Heart Institute. “His contribution to our effort to provide the highest standard of care backed by research findings will benefit patient safety and outcomes.”

“Dr. Mendelsohn brings more than a decade of stem cell therapy research and clinical experience toward the treatment of chronic coronary artery disease and related conditions,” said Matt Feshbach, co-founder and CEO of Okyanos Heart Institute. “His work and research support our commitment to provide safe and effective cardiac cell therapy treatments to our patients. We welcome and look forward to his participation in the Okyanos Medical Advisory Council.”

“Okyanos Heart Institute is providing a new option to chronic coronary artery disease patients who have received the maximum conventional care available to them,” said Mendelsohn. “I am pleased to advise Dr. Walpole and the Okyanos Heart Institute medical team to improve patients’ lives and advance the science of cardiac cell therapy.”

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About Okyanos Heart Institute:
Based in Freeport, The Bahamas, the Okyanos Heart Institute is a Center of Excellence (CoE) adhering to U.S. surgical center standards and led by Chief Medical Officer Howard Walpole Jr., M.D., MBA, FACC, FACAI, FSCAI, a leader of the American College of Cardiology for many years. The mission of Okyanos Heart Institute is to bring a new standard of care and a better quality of life to patients with chronic coronary artery disease using cardiac cell therapy. The Greek god of rivers, “Okyanos” symbolizes the primary mechanism of action that these adult stem cells have on ischemic (lack of blood flow) heart tissue, the result of the plaque deposits in the coronary arteries. The stem cells, derived from a person’s adipose (fat) tissue, create new blood vessels, a process known as angiogenesis. These cells facilitate blood flow in the heart and intake and use of oxygen, as measured by a rigorous clinical trial known as the PRECISE trial, as well as cardiac cell therapy trials at leading research institutions. For more information, visit http://www.okyanos.com/.

Anjelica Cummings
MMI Public Relations
(919) 233-6600
Okyanos Heart Institute
Patty Briguglio