UW Health Sciences NewsBeat recently profiled Charles Murry, UW professor of pathology, bioengineering and medicine/cardiology, and pioneering cardiac disease researcher. The piece describes Murry’s early interest in medicine growing up in North Dakota, his later decision to pursue scientific research, and current work at the forefront of stem cell science and engineering.
Murry eventually attended medical school at Duke University. In his third year he decided he wanted to pursue a Ph.D., and decided to quit medical school when he found he was unable to switch tracks on his Air Force scholarship. The government found Murry’s new plan to not be in the national interest. While earning his Ph.D., Murry intended to study cancer. However, the lab he wanted to join was full, so he instead decided to study the heart.
This decision changed the trajectory of his life. After completing his Ph.D. and later finishing his medical degree, Murry went on to build a career world-renowned stem cell science researcher and found the Heart Regeneration Program at UW Medicine. He became instrumental in discovering new methods for treating damage caused by heart attacks. Recently, his team demonstrated that damaged heart muscle in non-human primates can be repaired with human stem cells, and the therapy will soon undergo clinical trials.
Murry’s efforts could one day transform the treatment of heart failure and improve the quality of life of people who have suffered heart attacks. NewsBeat cites, “Few people have made a greater impact doing something ‘not in the national interest.'”