Sheba Hospital ceremony.
(photo credit: Sheba Hospital)
Researchers at Sheba Medical Center’s new Tamman Cardiovascular Research Center
expect that in another two or three years, heart patients will benefit from
their discoveries, among them the production of adult stem cells from a small
amount of adipose (fat) tissue around the heart, to produce hormones that repair
The center was donated by the children of Gabi and Lina
Tamman, Jews of Egyptian origin who are in real estate in Geneva. Five
generations of Tammans were present at the dedication ceremony at Sheba last
week of the research center, on the spacious top floor of the new Leviev Heart
The multimillion-dollar at Tel Hashomer research facility, which
includes state-ofthe- art labs and is apparently the only one in the country to
focus on cardiovascular research, is staffed by 20 physicians, scientists,
investigators, students and assistants.
Sheba director-general Prof.
Ze’ev Rotstein, who attended the ceremony with heart institute director
Prof. Micha Eldar and Tamman Center director Prof. Jonathan Leor,
said that management decided on the unique project a few years ago and “finally
it has been implemented in a breathtaking way. It is the diamond in the
Solomon Tamman, the couple’s son, said that all the family
members were called on to help in the project.
“We are here, five
generations of us, to see from close up the wonderful work going on in this
leading center. A strong Israel is the source of power and hope for all
Jews in the world.”
Leor told The Jerusalem Post
that the research will
eventually benefit not only older people with heart disease but also young
people with congenital heart defects, as well as victims of other
“Basic genetic, molecular and other research on unexplained
findings in hospital patients will lead to better treatments,” he
Among the methods and subjects besides the use of stem cells that
are being developed are engineering of cardiac tissues, study of the genetics of
cardiovascular diseases, angiogenesis (growth of new blood vessels) and work on
irregular heartbeats at the cellular level.
“There is potential for
treating peripheral vascular diseases, atherosclerosis, ischemia,
cardiomyopathies, congenital defects and other diseases,” he
Cardiac research has been carried out in other Sheba facilities for
two decades and more, but the additional space and equipment, as well as
students will make it possible to boost that considerably, Leor
The center has cooperation agreements with other Israeli
institutes and with foreign ones in places like Harvard University, the
University of Virginia, New York University and the University of
California, as well as others in Europe, he said.