By Wendy Sarubbi | April 3, 2015 4:10 pm

Dr. Dinender Singla, professor in the Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences, has been awarded a fellowship by the Cardiovascular Section of the American Physiological Society (APS) in recognition of his extensive research into heart disease. Dr. Singla focuses his scientific discoveries on the role of stem cells in healing diseased hearts and is currently working on a project to use a three-dimensional bio printer to create such a tissue structure.

Founded in 1887, the APS is one of the oldest and most prestigious societies in America and is devoted to fostering education, research and public information about the physiological sciences. It has more than 10,500 members.

Dr. Singla said he is “very pleased and honored with this recognition. It means they see the value and importance of my research.”

Dr. Singla’s fellowship follows his research presentation at the Indo-Canadian Symposium on Heart Failure last month in India, where he was a featured speaker on “Stem cells in cardiac regeneration.” That presentation earned him a Suresh Gupta Oration Award.

Stem cells, Dr. Singla said, have the potential to improve the quality of life for people with heart disease and ultimately to save lives. His research is looking at ways to replace dead heart cells with stem cells. In mice models, stem cells improved heart function by creating new blood and heart cells, increasing the heart’s pumping ability and improving overall cardiac health.

Dr. Singla’s research has received multiple grants from the National Institutes of Health. One such grant is helping fund his research on growth factors that stem cells release that can reduce fibrosis and inflammation of the heart.

Last month in India, he presented his latest project – to use stem cells via 3D bio printing. By doing this, medicine could have newer technologies and more reliable sources of stem cells for treating heart disease, he said.

This summer, Dr. Singla will begin working with undergraduate Burnett School students and high school students – including his eldest son, Reetish — to develop the high-tech computerized approach. He has even challenged the young minds to see if they can create their own 3D biological printer. The cost of purchasing such a printer is about $200,000.

“I want to trigger their minds and help them,” he said of working with the young discoverers. “I want to do my part to train the next generation of scientists.”

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