Jeffrey Isner

BMJ 2001; 323 doi: (Published 01 December 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;323:1310

Pioneer of cardiovascular gene therapy dies from a heart attack aged 53

Jeffrey Isner opened up an entirely new field of revascularisation research using angiogenesis techniques to stimulate new blood vessel growth and bypass clogged vessels. At the time of Isner's death, his work was still considered visionary, yet investigational. Proof of principle had been demonstrated, but randomised trials were just getting under way.

In 1994, Isner used a gene transfer technique to grow new blood vessels that could bypass damaged vessels in a patient with critical limb ischaemia and leg pain at rest. The technique delivered the protein vascular endothelial growth factor, or VEGF, through a balloon into the wall of the …

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