P Dr. Westaby has already shown that it is possible to reverse the healing of heart tissue and improve the quality of life by injecting stem cells into the hearts of people undergoing coronary bypbad surgery.
Additional tests to evaluate Bone marrow stem cells in referral patients should start at the Royal Brompton in London in January. The hope is that injections of stem cells can prevent patients from progressing to the stage where they would need a transplant.
Professor Westaby is also developing a mechanical titanium heart pump that would be cheaper and more widely available than current models, which currently cost hundreds of thousands of pounds.
Meanwhile, the BHF urges people to talk with their loved ones about organ donation. Although about eight out of 10 people support organ donation, less than 50% of people have talked to their families about their wishes.
More than half of families reject a donation when they do not know what their loved one would have and the NHS must respect their decision, even if the deceased was registered in the donor registry.
Professor Sir Nilesh Samani, medical director of the BHF said; "On the 50th anniversary of the first heart transplant, we can look back and see how cardiovascular research has turned this incipient procedure into a life-changing and life-saving operation."
"BHF continues to fund research on organ rejection and other approaches to help improve success rates, as well as regenerative medicine to treat and repair the heart without the need for surgery,
"The hope is that, one day, this research will help perform transplant operations of heart, and waiting lists for a new heart, a thing of the past. "