Ali J. Marian, M.D.

Center for Cardiovascular Genetics, Institute of Molecular Medicine and Department of Medicine, University of Texas Health Sciences Center at Houston, Houston, TX, USA.

Joshua M. Hare, M.D., FACC, FAHA

Director, Donald Soffer Endowed Program in Regenerative Medicine;  
Chief Science Officer;  
Senior Associate Dean for Experimental & Cellular Therapeutics;    
Louis Lemberg Professor of Medicine (Cardiology);    
Professor of Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology;    
Professor of Biomedical Engineering;  
Director, Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Institute (ISCI).


Roberto Bolli, M.D., D.Sc. (Hon), FACC

Professor of Medicine, Physiology and Biophysics;
Legacy Foundation of Kentuckiana Distinguished Chair in Cardiology;
Director, Institute of Molecular Cardiology;
Distinguished University Scholar.

Roberto Bolli, M.D. is an eminent clinician-scientist, a pioneer in molecular studies of cardioprotection, and the world's leading authority in cell therapy for heart failure. The thrust of Dr. Bolli’s outstanding research programs over the last 3 decades has been to advance basic fundamental discoveries from the bench to the bedside. He has succeeded in pioneering adult stem cell therapy for heart failure from concept to successful completion of several benchmark randomized clinical trials.

Dr. Bolli received his medical degree from the University of Perugia in Italy in 1976 and trained as a cardiology research fellow at the NHLBI (1978-1980), followed by training in clinical cardiology at Baylor College of Medicine (1981-1983), where he joined the faculty and quickly rose through the ranks to full Professor of Medicine (Cardiology) with tenure. In 1994, he accepted the position of Chief of the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine at the University of Louisville, Director of the Institute of Molecular Cardiology, and Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Medicine.

Ab initio, Dr. Bolli established himself as an innovative young investigator, developing, from scratch, new research programs in myocardial “stunning”, reperfusion injury, and ischemic preconditioning. He made numerous fundamental discoveries, delineating the molecular and cellular basis of these phenomena, including the role of reactive oxygen species in stunning and PKC, NF-kappaB,  iNOS, COX-2, and HO-1in preconditioning. Dr. Bolli and his team successfully conducted several first-in-human studies that originated from his basic laboratory discoveries, including intracoronary delivery of investigative agents to determine the salubrious effects of targeting novel pathways on myocardial ischemic injury and stunning. These discoveries set the stage for the successful launch of de novo programs on cell therapy for ischemic heart failure, a field that he has spearheaded since its inception and where he is recognized as an undisputed leader. Dr. Bolli was the first to show that, contrary to commonly accepted ideas, cardiac c-kit+ cells (CPCs) do not engraft in the heart and, therefore, work via paracrine actions – a concept that has changed our understanding of cell therapy. He has spearheaded the concept that repeated doses of cells are superior to a single dose and that cells are effective when given intravenously. He and his colleagues have successfully conducted several groundbreaking basic studies and clinical trials advancing the application of stem cell therapies in heart failure.

Dr. Bolli’s research programs have been supported uninterruptedly by NIH for 35 years and include UM1, U24, P01, and R01 awards. Dr. Bolli has published over 500 peer-reviewed articles, including over 100 articles in the field of stem cell research, in prestigious medical journals. His published articles have been cited over ~ 62,000 times and earned him an H index of 130 (Google Scholar).

Dr. Bolli was the legendary Editor-in-Chief of Circular Research (2009-2019). His tenure was remarkable for numerous initiatives that propelled the journal to its highest level in all aspects of scientific performance, including the impact factor. Dr. Bolli currently serves as the Editor-in-Chief of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry and in various editorial capacities for several biomedical journals, including The Journal of Cardiovascular Aging. Dr. Bolli has served in numerous national and international societies, including as chairman of the Distinguished Scientist Selection Committee, Council on Basic Cardiovascular Sciences, and Council Operations Committee of the AHA, and a member of the Program Project Review Committee and Advisory Council of the NHLBI. He was president of the International Society for Heart Research and the International Academy of Cardiovascular Sciences.

For his outstanding scientific contributions, Dr. Bolli has received numerous awards and honors. Notable among them are the MERIT Award from the NIH (2001), the Basic Research Prize of the AHA (2001), the Research Achievement Award from the International Society for Heart Research (ISHR, 2004), the Lucian Award from McGill University (2004), the Ken Bowman Award from the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences, University of Manitoba (2004), the Howard Morgan Award for Distinguished Achievements in Cardiovascular Research from the International Academy of Cardiovascular Sciences (IACS, 2005), the AHA Distinguished Scientist Award (2010), the AHA Research Achievement Award (2013) “for the profound and lasting impact of his extraordinary contributions to cardiovascular research”, the Peter Harris Distinguished Scientist Award from the ISHR (2015), the Medal of Merit Award from the IACS (2013), and the Schottenstein Prize in Cardiovascular Sciences (2015). He was inducted into the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the Association of American Physicians.

This webinar is named after James T. Willerson, M.D., who was a visionary leader and a world-class pioneer in cell therapy for heart failure.

We are most delighted and honored to host Roberto Bolli, M.D. as the speaker at The Journal of Cardiovascular Aging Webinar Series.


The Journal of Cardiovascular Aging


All published articles are preserved here permanently:



All published articles are preserved here permanently: