The discovery of the telocytes – a world first, made by a team of Romanian medical researchers from the Victor Babes National Institute of Pathology of Bucharest headed by Academician Laurentiu Mircea Popescu, who is the President of the Romanian Academy of Medical Sciences has been recognised in the United States too.
According to a press release on Monday, the recent visit paid by Professor Doctor Laurentiu Mircea Popescu to the U.S. highlighted the acceptance of the telocytes as a new type of cells in the human body, which might revolutionise contemporary medicine.
During the two-week visit, Prof. Dr. Popescu gave several conferences and had a range of meetings with leading figures of the world’s medical circles, with Prof. Dr. P. Anversa saying, at the end of the talks, that he was ‘convinced of the existence of the telocytes” and saying that „a Romanian-U.S. partnership could become of a major importance for the treatment of myocardial infarction’ or heart attack, the release said.
Scientists of the Victor Babes National Institute of Pathology of Bucharest have discovered a new type of cells, called telocytes, which could join the stem cells in the regeneration and repairing of the human body, Victor Babes director Laurentiu Mircea Popescu had said. „At least in the case of myocardial infarction the evidence so far is encouraging.
The cells were in existence but they had not been observed. Our scientists had been working on a certain type of cells in the human body and came across these cells. The importance of these cells is given by the fact that they act as the lieutenants of the stem cells and their action cannot be independent of the stem cells,” Popescu explained.
He mentioned that the Victor Babes scientists found the telocytes in the pancreas first and then in 15 other body organs. „These cells are located in interstitia, the areas between specialized cells,” said Popescu. He added that such cells are not used for medical purposes yet, but they could be the key to heart regeneration.
Popescu said these cells are all the more important as each year 17.2 million people die from heart-related ailments and 80 percent of the victims are in developing countries or emerging economies.
The Victor Babes official said the institute is engaged in five projects – two worth 1.3 million euros each, two worth 4 million in all and one 1.5-million-euro project.
The 2010 turnover of the Victor Babes Institute is put at 2.8 million euros derived from projects worth 2.5 million euros. The institute is also trying to win projects worth 9 million euros. Professor Caius Traian Dragomir said in his turn that the migration abroad of Romanian doctors is the result of the economic crisis facing the country.
„We are looking at the state of medical education, the migration of doctors and the under-funding of the health care system from an angle of scientific research and professional experience. In order to boost the educational level we will have to focus on accessing structural funds, because Romania is making doctors and medicine specialists not for the Romanian system only, but also for the entire Europe,” said Dragomir.
In his opinion, ethics classes should be introduced in the Romanian educational system and the state authorities should consult with medical academies when deciding on education development. Romania, he said, should find the ground that will secure the return of Romanian doctors who have migrated abroad.