Rochester, Minn




The research efforts of Carmen M. Terzic, M.D., Ph.D., and her team attempt to direct stem cells toward cardiogenesis, to assess the role of nuclear transport during stem cell differentiation and to optimize their properties for cardiac commitment. Dr. Terzic's work includes developing techniques by which direct injection of stem cells in a murine model of cardiac infarction engrafts and repopulates the diseased heart with cardiac cells derived from the stem cells. The ultimate goal is to establish cardiovascular regenerative medicine as the new therapeutic modality for heart disease.

Dr. Terzic and her team have evaluated the cardiogenic potential of stem cells among patients. Together with Mayo Clinic's Cardiovascular Health Clinic, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and Cardiovascular Research Laboratory, Dr. Terzic has explored the individual variation in the number of circulating progenitor cells and the correlation between the cardiogenic potential of circulating progenitor cells and cardiovascular disease risk factors, risk indicators and clinical outcome after a cardiovascular event. The goal of this research is to introduce stem cell science into the innovative practice of prophylactic medicine in order to advance personalized wellness.

Focus areas

  • Mayo Clinic's Cardiac Rehabilitation Program and its benefits in controlling cardiovascular risk factors, mortality and re-hospitalization
  • The role of nuclear transport and nuclear pore complexes in stem cell differentiation in cardiac cells
  • Stem cell differentiation in cardiomyocytes and clinical applications of stem cell therapy to achieve safe infarction repair

Significance to patient care

The findings from Dr. Terzic's research have the potential to help researchers identify novel biomarkers of cardiovascular disease risk, severity and prognosis, an individual's self-repair capacity. Dr. Terzic seeks to identify the restorative and regenerative effectiveness of stem cell therapy for application in secondary prevention and rehabilitation programs.

Professional highlights

  • Board member and faculty member, Rehabilitation Medicine Scientist Training Program, 2012-present
  • Editorial board member, International Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 2012-present
  • Editorial board member, Journal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation and Prevention, 2012-present
  • Recipient, Distinguished Academician Award, Association of Academic Physiatrists, 2010
  • Editorial board member, American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 2010-present
  • Traveling fellow, Japanese Association of Rehabilitation Medicine, March 2008


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