University loses beating heart creator to Texas

by Evelina Smirnitskaya

Doris Taylor, the researcher who rose to prominence by growing a rat heart in a laboratory, is leaving the University of Minnesota.

Starting March 1, Taylor will begin work at the Texas Heart Institute – a nonprofit cardiology and heart surgery center in Houston.

The University Office for Technology Commercialization signed an agreement to license Taylor’s technique to Miromatrix Medical Inc. in February 2010 in hopes of marketing a series of medical technology devices based on her research. Later that year, Taylor was ousted from the company by its board of directors. The University, a major share-holder in the company, supported the decision.

“I was disappointed that an institution that I value and that I’ve been asked to represent nationally and internationally didn’t feel the same [about me],” Taylor told the Daily in April 2011.

In an interview with the Star Tribune, Taylor said her removal from Miromatrix played a role in her decision to relocate. Texas Heart Institute Frank Michel spokesman said that the institute recruited Taylor.

As a top-ranking heart center in the nation, he said, the institute is seeking top researchers.