The future of heart research is in Houston: new facility overseen by Milestone Project Management

10/05/2012 | Milestone Project Management

HOUSTON, TX, October 5, 2012 — In the United States, very few medical professionals are working on next-generation heart research at such a high level. And one of them is now in Houston at the Texas Medical Center. Dr. Doris Taylor, whose breakthroughs include work with heart stem cells and decelluraziation, is bringing her research to the last remaining space available in the Texas Heart Institute (THI) at St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital.

Milestone Project Management is orchestrating the design and construction of the 8000 s.f. lab that will house Dr. Taylor’s new research areas and sample storage. Construction began in mid-May 2012; the 3,000 s.f. biorepository is scheduled for completion later this month. Wet labs, totaling 3,400 s.f., should be ready in November 2012.

The new lab, designed per Dr. Taylor’s specifications, was the incentive she needed to bring her trail-blazing research to Houston. The new lab will allow Dr. Taylor and up to 10 research assistants to chart what’s next for heart healthcare. Houston and THI should expect to hear more about “ghost hearts,” adult stem cells, cell and gene therapy, and tissue engineering. All aimed at one day regenerating hearts and other organs.
Milestone is responsible for ensuring the design and construction meets Dr. Taylor’s exacting specifications. Research space includes customized, adjustable height shelving and two separate culture rooms. There will also be a procedure room and a large conference space.

In her own words, Dr. Taylor says that her team discovered how to “wash the cells from a non-living heart, inject it with living cells and make it start beating. Imagine organs built from a recipient’s own cells. You could be your own donor,” she said. More information about Dr. Taylor’s process is in this YouTube video

Milestone has been managing projects for St. Luke’s for four years. Jennifer Youssef, project manager for Milestone, knows this project will be closely scrutinized.

“Addressing the project details are a critical factor in every healthcare project,” Youssef said. “This project was very important, not only for Dr. Taylor and her staff, but for The Texas Heart Institute. The schedule was very tight and the research was very dependant on the strict deatils of equipment layout and workflow. The developments coming from Dr. Taylor’s work in this lab are going to revolutionize the future of cardiovascular healthcare and organ transplantation.” Youssef also commended the collaborative spirit of the project team, and especially the talents of the designers at WHR Architects and the construciton team of W.S. Bellows Construction.

Dr. Taylor began working with samples in September 2012. She joins THI after a successful stint at the University of Minnesota, where she served as director of the Center for Cardiovascular Repair and Medtronic Bakken Chair in Integrative Biology and Physiology.

About Milestone Project Management:
Milestone Project Management oversees projects that are vital to the success of the client and the community. Milestone works with team members to ensure the project delivery process includes best practice design, operational efficiencies, sustainability and attractive facilities. Services include project management, strategic facility planning and construction audits. Milestone has managed such projects as the St. Luke’s Woodlands Hospital Inpatient Tower Vertical Expansion, Wyoming Medical Center’s new Inpatient Wing and Christus Jasper Emergency Department Expansion. Visit for more information.