Heart and lung health
Medicine and Health Campaign
Philanthropic support makes discovery possible
The University of Minnesota is home to some of the 20th century’s greatest advances in cardiovascular and respiratory health, including:
- The world’s first successful open-heart surgery using hypothermia.
- Invention of the battery-operated pacemaker.
- Development of a chest-thumping vest used to clear the lungs of people with cystic fibrosis.
Charitable gifts support these kinds of life-changing advances in medicine.
Advancing heart health
Today University physician-researchers are continuing a tradition of creating revolutionary therapies—for instance, using stem cells, a “molecular Band-Aid,” and a “guardian angel” protein delivered via gene therapy—to mend damaged hearts. Also, U researchers were the first to systematically examine the relationship between lifestyle and diet and rates of heart attack and stroke and later developed the country’s most comprehensive screening for early signs of heart disease.
World-class treatment for lung diseases
U lung physicians are taking advantage of their lab colleagues’ latest discoveries—including the creation of breathing lungs in the lab—to improve patient care. And though the University is long recognized as one of the world’s largest and most experienced lung transplant centers, U scientists are working to discover ways to prevent the need for such procedures altogether.
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