The Associated Press
LOUISVILLE - A research center being developed by the team that put the world's first totally implantable artificial heart in a human has received millions of dollars in contributions.
Kosair Charities has given $5 million for a pediatric heart research center within the Cardiovascular Innovation Institute, a project of the University of Louisville and Jewish Hospital.
Dr. Laman Gray, the institute's medical director, said the work conducted by the pediatric center will focus on allowing children who suffer heart failure to recover by using techniques and devices that would allow their hearts to regenerate and heal. The research will include work on heart-assist devices that would pump blood while the heart is recovering, he said.
The institute has already begun working on such a device as part of a $4.8 million grant it received recently from the National Institutes of Health. The five-story building that will house the institute is slated for completion in 2006.
The goal is to keep Louisville at the forefront of heart research. Medical professors from the university have joined Jewish Hospital surgeons in implanting seven AbioCor artificial hearts so far. The AbioCor is made by Abiomed Inc. of Danvers, Mass.
Other donations to the institute:
Jewish Hospital Foundation, $15 million.
Kentucky Office of the New Economy, $5 million.
Federal grants obtained by U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, $3 million.
Keith Inman, vice president of Jewish Hospital Healthcare Services and executive director of the Jewish Hospital Foundation, said the center must still raise $23 million.
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