Field’s research focuses on regenerative growth of the heart muscle—research that may not make people immortal, but certainly could extend their lives.
“Most forms of heart disease or heart injury cause some form of cell death,” he says. “We develop strategies to increase the number of cardiac myocytes, or heart cells, in these circumstances, which improves cardiac function.”
The investigators in Field’s lab take two approaches to this: transplanting donor myocytes, or coaxing existing myocytes to proliferate. Their work has significant implications for people who have heart injuries due to myocardial infarction or disease, as well as for people with congenital heart defects.
Over the last 30 years at IU, Field says he has had plenty of opportunities to leave, but has always chosen to stay.
“It’s a huge honor to come to work in this lab with my colleagues,” he says. “I’m my happiest at the bench.”
The views expressed in this content represent the perspective and opinions of the author and may or may not represent the position of Indiana University School of Medicine.
Hannah Calkins is the communications manager for the Department of Medicine.